Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
By Margie Wuebker
Eight people hurt in traffic crash
  Eight people - seven of them youths ages 16 and under - were injured in a three-vehicle crash Tuesday night at the intersection of state Route 716 and Overman Road, south of Maria Stein.
Five rescue squads responded from a three-county area, according to Mercer County Sheriff's Office reports.
Kayla S. Hemmelgarn, 16, 933 state Route 716, Maria Stein, was driving northbound on the state route when she attempted to turn left onto Overman Road. She apparently failed to see a southbound 1994 Dodge van driven by Judy A. Mann, 48, 15 Main St., Osgood. Mann struck the right side of Hemmelgarn's 2002 Chevy van.
Hemmelgarn's van reportedly slid across the road upon impact and struck a 2002 Chevy truck driven by Samuel J. Hartke, 42, 7803 Overman Road, Maria Stein. Hartke was stopped eastbound at an Overman Road stop sign at the time.
Squads responded to the 6:21 p.m. call from Osgood, St. Henry (two), Minster and Versailles.
Seth Kelch, 8, 1037 state Route 716, Maria Stein, and Mitchell J. Kuether, 10, 7084 Indian Trail Road, Maria Stein, were transported by ambulances to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater and later flown to Children's Medical Center in Dayton. Both are in fair condition today, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The arrival of emergency helicopters occurred in stages with one aircraft lifting off from the Coldwater pad as another approached the hospital.
Kayla Hemmelgarn, her 14-year-old sister Kristen and Austin Wendel, 7, 987 state Route 716, Maria Stein, were taken by St. Henry ambulances to Community Hospital, where they were treated then released.
Minster Life Squad took Mann to Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys with an Osgood ambulance transporting Zachary A. Hemmelgarn, 11, and Alex Hemmelgarn, 7, both of 933 state Route 716, Maria Stein, to the same facility. None of the three remain hospitalized there today.
Hartke and his passenger were not injured. Sheriff's office reports indicate all the drivers and passengers were using seat belts at the time of the crash.
Both heavily damaged vans were towed from the scene while the truck sustained light damage. Area firefighters were called to the scene to deal with fuel spills.
The investigation is continuing and no charges have been filed at this point.
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