By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
A 20-year-old Portland, Ind., man was killed and a Fort Recovery
woman is in critical condition following a two-car accident
Wednesday afternoon at a rural intersection north of Fort Recovery.
Pronounced dead in the stubble cornfield where both vehicles
came to rest was Daniel J. Schoenlein. The 2001 Jay County (Ind.)
High School graduate was an employee of Hemmelgarn & Sons,
Philothea, and has relatives in the Mercer County area.
The driver of the second car, Karen Wetz, 50, 117 E. Broadway
St., Fort Recovery, was taken to Mercer County Community Hospital,
Coldwater, then transferred by Life Flight helicopter to St.
Rita’s Medical Center, Lima. A hospital spokeswoman said
Wetz remained in critical condition in the intensive care unit
at press time today.
Schoenlein and Wetz were the only occupants in their vehicles,
which collided at the intersection of Wabash and Philothea roads
at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday.
The report from the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said
Schoenlein was eastbound on Philothea Road when he failed to
stop for the stop sign. The 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra he
was driving was struck broadside by the 1993 Mercury Topaz driven
south by Wetz who had the right of way, the report said.
Both vehicles landed in the southeast corner of the intersection.
Debris littered the muddy field as authorities and rescue workers
combed the accident scene just before dusk.
Assisting at the scene were members of the Southwest Mercer
Fire Department and Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteers.
Schoenlein’s death marks the seventh traffic fatality
in Mercer County this year. His obituary appears today on page
The last fatal accident in Mercer County also involved an Indiana
man, James McMillan, 51, who was killed two weeks ago when a
tanker truck he was driving overturned north of Mendon.