Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
By Margie Wuebker
Celina man dies after three-vehicle crash in Mercer County
  A 31-year-old Celina man died Monday evening of injuries sustained in a three-vehicle crash earlier in the day along state Route 219, east of Township Line Road.
Todd L. Adams, 2102 St. Anthony Road, was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m. at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton following the 4:41 p.m. accident.
Adams was reportedly heading home westbound on state Route 219 when a 1992 Chevy S-10 pickup driven by Douglas M. Heitkamp, 24, 6215 Depweg Road, Celina, crossed the center line and struck Adams' 1995 Ford Escort. The Ford continued off the north side of the road and struck a utility pole.
Gary M. Timmerman, 32, 9636 Banks Road, Yorkshire, who was following Adams, saw the crash and attempted to avoid it by swerving left of center. However, his 1998 Chevrolet Hatchback sideswiped Heitkamp's pickup truck as it overturned.
Heitkamp, who reportedly was not using a seat belt at the time, was ejected from his vehicle while Southwest Mercer firefighters had to free Adams from the wreckage.
Heitkamp and Adams were taken by ambulance to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater and later transferred aboard CareFlight emergency helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital. Heitkamp remains in fair condition today.
Timmerman escaped injury and his vehicle sustained moderate damage. The other vehicles were removed by wreckers due to heavy damage.
The accident remains under investigation, and deputies had not interviewed Heitkamp as of press time today. Deputies say they do not yet know what caused the pickup truck to cross the center line.
Adams was co-owner of General Landscaping in Celina and a welder. The 1995 graduate of Celina High School married Constance "Connie" Elaine Omo on June 28 in Montezuma.
Funeral services are pending.
Sheriff Jeff Grey said authorities will be sitting down to analyze each of the six traffic accidents that have claimed 10 lives in the county since January. Chief Deputy Gery Thobe will chair the meeting of patrol lieutenants to determine what might have prevented the crashes.
"The first crash involved someone running a stop sign," Grey said. "Then we've had an ATV accident, a semitrailer rollover, a 10-year-old who ran into the road, a go-cart crash and two incidents of vehicles traveling left of center."
Deputies will be stepping up patrol along state Route 219, which has been the scene of the last three fatal accidents.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Celina schools defer taking state funding to build or renovate
• Superintendent seeks to retire, rehire for position
• Fuel costs for St. Marys to increase 100 percent
• Group takes to the streets to find safest walking route for students
• Grant will help residents with home improvements
• Bulldogs blank Shawnee, 2-0
a_d
Sunday Night
53°
Chance Rain Showers
100%
Monday
56°
Chance Rain Showers
81%
Monday Night
29°
Breezy
19%
Tuesday
34°
Slight Chance Snow Showers
22%
Tuesday Night
23°
Partly Cloudy
9%
Wednesday
36°
Mostly Cloudy
12%
Wednesday Night
27°
Chance Snow
29%
Thanksgiving Day
33°
Chance Snow
25%
Thursday Night
18°
Mostly Cloudy
17%
Friday
31°
Mostly Cloudy
10%
Friday Night
23°
Mostly Cloudy
13%
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d