Prisoner transport van crashes; 2 officers, 6 inmates hospitalized

First responders tend to victims in a prisoner transport van that crashed along S.R. 3 in LaOtto on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (KPC News)

DEKALB COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) A prisoner transport van crashed in DeKalb County Thursday afternoon and left six inmates and two officers with injuries.

Police and medics were called just before 3 p.m. Thursday to the intersection of S.R. 3 and S.R. 205 in LaOtto on a report of a crash there. Responders arrived to find a Dodge Ram 3500 prisoner transport van and a Ford F350 crashed there.

According to a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department crash report, the transport van was northbound on S.R. 3 in the passing lane approaching S.R. 205. The Ram, meanwhile, was southbound in the left turn lane of S.R. 3 at the intersection with S.R. 205.

The investigation showed that the Ram failed to yield the right of way and turned left in front of the transport van, the report said.

The transport van struck the Ram on its passenger side front end. The Ram spun and came to a rest facing west in the intersection. The transport van went off the roadway and hit a utility pole before it finally came to a rest in a ditch.

Firefighters had to free the occupants of the transport cage, the report said. One passenger – a 47-year-old officer from Florida – was airlifted from the scene to a Fort Wayne hospital with broken ribs and a fractured clavicle. Six inmates – all from states around the nation – and the transport van’s driver – also from Florida – were taken to local hospitals by ambulance.

The driver of the Ram was not hurt.

It’s not clear where the transport van was headed or where it came from. The sheriff’s department said the van was registered to a private transport company called US Corrections LLC.

The department would not release any additional information when asked by NewsChannel 15.

The crash remains under investigation.