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Police and fire

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3rd death after van-buggy crash

A third person has died from injuries suffered last week in a crash between a van and a horse-drawn buggy, according to the Adams County Sheriff’s Department.

The sheriff’s department learned Friday that Jerry M. Schwartz, 17, had died the night before in a Fort Wayne hospital. The crash near Decatur also took the lives of Barbara M. Schwartz, 5, and Enos M. Schwartz, 3. The two children were riding in the buggy with Jerry Schwartz and three others.

According to a crash report, the van hit the buggy from behind about 8 a.m. April 17. The van, a 1998 GM model, was traveling east on Indiana 124 near County Road 400 West. The buggy was also heading east, the report said.

The van driver, 22-year-old Chandler T. Gerber, told investigators the sun’s reflection off the road made it difficult to see. He also said he was texting a relative and going about 60 mph just before the crash.

The van traveled about 430 feet after hitting the buggy; there was no sign of braking before the impact. Gerber, from Bluffton, was not injured, the report said.

The six people in the buggy were ejected. The three survivors – a 44-year-old woman, a 16-year-old boy and a baby girl – were injured and taken to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, the report said.

On Friday, Parkview staff said condition reports for those three were not available.

aingersoll@jg.net

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