The Journal Gazette
Friday, July 02, 2021 1:00 am

Paulding Road chase ends with 3 deaths

Crash forces evacuation of area when gas line struck

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

Three men were killed early Thursday when a driver fled police and crashed a vehicle on Fort Wayne's south side.

Several Paulding Road residents had to be evacuated because the vehicle struck a gas line in addition to a house, tree and utility pole, police said.

Police were called about 12:20 a.m. to a disturbance involving an intoxicated man in the 2500 block of Hoevelwood Drive, near Werling Drive and East Paulding Road.

Officers tried to talk to the man who was sitting in the driver's seat of a vehicle identified by witnesses.

The man drove off and headed west on Paulding at high speed, eluding officers who lost sight of the vehicle near Paulding and Hanna Street, police said.

Moments later, officers found the vehicle had gone off the road and crashed in the 200 block of East Paulding Road.

All three people in the vehicle died at the scene, police said. They were identified as Sor No Bit, 25; Sai Po Lar, 28; and Ah Tone, 28, all of Fort Wayne. Neither police nor the coroner's office identified the driver.

Police spokesman Jeremy Webb said the crash is still under investigation and the driver is yet to be determined.

This is the fourth police chase involving a fatal crash in the last 11/2 years.

The other crashes were:

• May 3, 2020: Simone Ashley Dufor, 21, and Juwan Latrell Benson, 20, died after the vehicle they were in struck a parked truck and a utility pole on Vance Avenue, just east of Coliseum Boulevard. Dufor died at the scene. Benson, the driver, who died the next day, was fleeing police, police said.

• Sept. 18: Joshua Michael Kirchhoff, 29, died after his vehicle collided with a truck at Coliseum Boulevard and Vance Avenue. Police said he led officers on a short chase. They said they called off the chase just before the crash.

• Oct. 1: Sierra Shampree Sanders, 26, died in a crash on Coliseum Boulevard near Glenbrook Square while fleeing police, police said.

• Oct. 13: Gabrielle B. Menier, 24, died after she crashed into a building at 1718 E. Berry St., at the intersection with Anthony Boulevard. Police said they pulled her over because the car she was driving had been reported stolen, but she sped off as officers approached the vehicle. The crash occurred after a two-minute chase, police said.

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