2 killed in head-on crash on Bluffton Road

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Two people were killed and another was critically hurt after a head-on crash south of Fort Wayne.

The crash was reported around 4:20 a.m. Thursday on Bluffton Road just north of Yoder Road. Southwest Fire, Poe, and U.S. Air Force firefighters responded to assist.

Fire officials said three people were trapped.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene. Another person died at the hospital.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office later Thursday identified the victims as Jonathan Robert Zeigler, 36, Indianapolis, and Gregory Lee Mitchell, 37, Ossian. Both died of blunt force trauma due to a motor vehicle crash.

Colleagues said Mitchell was a husband and father of six. He was heading into work at Fort Wayne Newspapers to pick up newspapers for his delivery route. Colleague Betty Sampson said she saw video of the crash and spotted mail carrier bins and knew it was Mitchell’s car. She said he carried the bins to help organize the papers.

She said Sampson was very funny, and shared a bond with all the carriers.

“We have weird hours and people make fun of us and say we’re zombies,” Sampson said. “We work so much sometimes when we do both papers and he did that too.We just get that bond.”

Two of the victims were extricated by firefighters. One was transported by ambulance to a hospital and the other was taken to a hospital by medical helicopter.

The medical helicopter departed for the hospital around 5:22 a.m.

Investigators said both both vehicles hit on their front-left side. A sheriff’s department spokesman said the SUV driven by Zeigler was southbound when it went left-of-center and hit Mitchell’s SUV.

Debris from the crash was scattered in several directions for several hundred feet. It didn’t appear anyone hit the brakes before impact, according to police.

Bluffton Road was closed for approximately 5 hours while the sheriffs department investigated.

The crash is under investigation.