Thursday, August 16th, 2007
By Shelley Grieshop
Health problem may have led to Minster fatal crash
  A previous medical condition may have caused the death of a 48-year-old Dayton man who was killed in a three-vehicle crash in downtown Minster on Wednesday.
Pronounced dead at the scene was Richard M. Ferry Jr., the driver and lone occupant of a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan, which was traveling northbound on state Route 66 at the state Route 119 intersection at 6:39 p.m.
Ferry's van struck the rear of a 2007 Lincoln Escalade, driven by Shawn Dancer of Delphos, which was stopped at the stop light at the busy intersection near Bud's Pizza. The impact pushed the SUV into a 2000 Dodge Intrepid driven by Kristina Stang of Fort Loramie.
Dancer and his passenger, Kurt Gordon, 30, also of Delphos, were treated then released at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital, St. Marys, for minor injuries.
Stang and her children, Sara, 8, and Chloe, 6, did not claim injury.
Ferry was the only person involved in the crash that was not wearing a seat belt, according to the report from the Wapakoneta post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP). Air bags did not deploy on any of the vehicles and typically don't in low-speed crashes, according to the OSHP.
Auglaize County Coroner Dr. Thomas Freytag told The Daily Standard this morning that he suspects Ferry may have died from "some sort of natural event," rather than injuries sustained from the crash.
"He had an abrasion on his head but it was insignificant," Freytag said. "He didn't appear to have suffered from trauma."
Freytag noted that Ferry had a partially-open abdominal wound that likely was the result of a recent surgery. Complications from the surgery, a heart problem or a number of other medical conditions could have caused Ferry's death prior to the collision, Freytag said.
An autopsy is pending and Freytag said he hopes to have the preliminary results later today. Alcohol and drug tests also were being performed as a routine step in accidents such as this, Freytag added.
If the investigation reveals that Ferry's death was not caused by the crash, it will not be recorded as an Auglaize County traffic fatality. To date, the county has recorded just one traffic death, 59-year-old Robert Kantner of St. Marys, who was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle on state Route 197 near Buckland.
Wednesday's crash remains under investigation by the local OSHP.
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