Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
By Margie Wuebker
Emergency responder critically hurt
Volunteer was injured directing traffic at U.S. 127 crash scene
  CARTHAGENA - An emergency response volunteer was critically injured Monday night while directing traffic at the intersection of U.S. 127 and state Route 274 near Carthagena.
Marvin D. Collins, 56, of Fort Recovery, was one of several members of the Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteers (MCSERV) group called to assist as Mercer County Sheriff's deputies investigated an earlier accident at the intersection of U.S. 127 and Clover Four Road.
Collins and James E. Kittle, 64, of Celina, had set up traffic control at the Carthagena intersection with amber roof lights on their pickup trucks issuing warnings to approaching motorists. Orange reflective traffic cones were in place and the men wore reflective vests and had flashlights with red cones for added visibility.
Just before 8 p.m., Collins returned to his pickup truck to retrieve equipment when a northbound 2001 Saturn driven by Kameron J. McCarty, 21, at large, failed to slow or to yield to the traffic control detail, according to sheriff's office reports.
McCarty reportedly drove over a reflective traffic cone and struck the front end of Collins' pickup truck, pushing it into Kittle's pickup truck that was parked just behind the other truck.
Collins was struck by the vehicles.
"From the investigation thus far, we know Marvin had walked back to his truck and had the door open when the crash occurred," Sheriff Jeff Grey said this morning.
Collins was rushed by ambulance to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater and later transferred by emergency helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Kittle escaped injury as did McCarty and his passenger, 20-year-old Ashley N. Farmer of Celina.
McCarty refused to consent to blood or urine tests so a search warrant was obtained with the assistance of the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office. He remains incarcerated at the Mercer County Detention Facility pending the filing of formal charges later today.
Farmer also was taken into custody on an outstanding theft warrant from the Celina Police Department. A syringe was located during the investigation and she faces charges related to the possession of drug paraphernalia.
The pair are expected to appear in Celina Municipal Court later today following the filing of charges.
Firefighters from St. Henry, Coldwater and Chickasaw also responded to the scene.
Deputies continue to investigate the initial accident which involved a forklift and the trailer upon which it was being carried. No details regarding that crash were available by press time today.
Chief deputy Gery Thobe said Collins and Kittle were diverting traffic south of the crash site while additional MCSERV members handled similar duties north of the crash scene at the intersection of U.S. 127 and state Route 219.
"Last night's crash is a tragedy," Grey said. "Our prayers are with the Collins family at this time."
Grey encourages anyone who passed through the area of U.S. 127 and state Route 274 just prior to the accident to call the sheriff's office at 419-586-7724.
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