Newton Twp. crash claims life

NEWTON TOWNSHIP — A head-on crash on State Route 718 claimed the life of one of the drivers on Monday evening.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office later identified Jared D. Caldwell, 32, of Greenville, as the driver who passed away as a result of his injuries from the crash.

Miami County Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Pleasant Hill Fire Department, Pleasant Hill Rescue, and Union Township Life Squad, were dispatched to St. Rt. 718 near Stewart Road in Newton Township, approximately a mile west of the village of Pleasant Hill, at around 5:45 p.m. on Monday.

Miami County deputies arrived and reported the crash was a head-on with entrapment. CareFlight was requested but was later asked to stand down.

Sgt. Randy Slusher of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office said the preliminary investigation determined that a blue sedan was traveling eastbound on St. Rt. 718 when the driver, later identified as Caldwell, drove left of center and struck a westbound Toyota minivan. It is unknown why Caldwell drove left of center. The minivan was operated by Joellen Gates, 27, of Newton Township, and the minivan contained one passenger, Gates’ three-year-old son.

Both vehicles remained partially on the roadway.

Caldwell was pronounced dead at the scene, and Gates was transported by ambulance to Upper Valley Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Gates was transported by Union Township Life Squad to Upper Valley Medical Center “as a precautionary measure,” said Slusher.

The three-year-old child was taken by a family member to an area hospital to be checked out.

The Miami County Sheriff Crash Reconstruction Team is continuing its investigation.

St. Rt. 718 was closed for about two hours.