Fleeing suspect crashes; three injured.

Three people were transported from a crash scene after a Nappanee man fled authorities Thursday afternoon.


Shortly before 3:00 pm, a Kosciusko County Sheriff's Deputy observed a 2011 Ford Fiesta, driven by Walter David Hawthorne, 44, of Nappanee, pass two vehicles at a high rate of speed, in a no passing zone. Hawthorne's vehicle was eastbound on Armstrong Road, in the area of CR 450 E at the time of the offense. The deputy activated his emergency lights and attempted to perform a traffic stop. Hawthorne continued eastbound on Armstrong Road (which becomes CR 500 N), and refused to stop for the marked patrol vehicle.


The stop light was red as Hawthorne approached State Road 13, in excess of 100 mph.  The Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department says Hawthorne continued through the intersection, striking a southbound 2013 Ram 2500, driven by Joshua Shepherd, 36, of North Webster.


Shepherd's vehicle then struck a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Christopher Ousley, 34, of Leesburg. The Malibu was stopped facing northbound on State Road 13, prior to the crash. After the collision with the Ram, Ousley's vehicle overturned, trapping him within the car.


The deputy immediately called for assistance and began to render aid to the injured parties. Units responded from the North Webster Police and Fire Departments, Pierceton Police Department and the Turkey Creek Fire Territory.


Hawthorne was airlifted from the scene by the Parkview Samaritan Air Ambulance and was conscious and alert at the time of this press release.


Ousley was extricated from the Malibu by the North Webster Fire Department and was transported from the scene, with a complaint of neck pain.


Ousley's front seat passenger, Loretta Ousley, 62, of Leesburg, was transported from the scene to a Fort Wayne hospital, with a facial injury.


Shepherd did not complain of injuries.


This crash remains under investigation by the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Office Fatal Team.

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