Medical issue suspected in crash

Auburn Police say a medical issue may have caused a two-vehicle crash Tuesday morning on Auburn Drive at Wayne Street. Both drivers were taken to area hospitals.

AUBURN — Auburn Police are investigating a two-vehicle crash Tuesday morning at the intersection of Auburn Drive and Wayne Street.

The crash occurred at 9:30 a.m., according to Auburn Police Capt. Cory D. Heffelfinger.

Heffelfinger said witnesses told police a white SUV, driven by Ronald Sleeper, 60, of the 4500 block of S.R. 8, Auburn, was stopped for traffic in the eastbound lane of Auburn Drive when it was struck from behind by an eastbound gray/tan SUV, driven by Larry Etter, 69, of the 5100 block of C.R. 29, Auburn.

Etter may have experienced a medical episode prior to the crash, Heffelfinger said. Police continue to investigate the crash.

Heffelfinger said the impact pushed both vehicles east through the intersection, over a traffic sign and onto a landscaped, rocky area in front of a convenience store at the southeast corner of the intersection.

Both drivers were transported to area hospitals, Heffelfinger said. Sleeper complained of neck and back pain and was taken to Parkview DeKalb Hospital in Auburn. Etter was taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne.

Emergency responders performed life-saving measures on Etter at the crash scene and in the ambulance.

“When officers arrived on scene, we pulled the driver out of the vehicle. He was unresponsive,” Heffelfinger said. “We pulled him out of the vehicle and began CPR. Auburn Fire and (Parkview) EMS continued to do CPR.”

As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, police did not know the condition of either Etter or Sleeper.

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