Alcohol suspected in Monday crash

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in a crash on SR 53, near CR 38, Monday evening, according to State Highway Patrol.

According to a release, Terry Westerman, 34, of Tiffin, was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Uplander northbound on SR 53 when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a 1996 Chevrolet Tracker driven by Jeffrey A. Wise, 52, of Tiffin. Wise’s vehicle was forced off the roadway and struck a utility pole.

Wise was taken by Life Flight from Mercy Tiffin Hospital to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

He was in critical condition Tuesday morning and then in serious condition Tuesday evening, according to the hospital.

Lt. Dean Laubacher of State Highway Patrol said a urine test was taken from Westerman, and it could take up to six weeks to get the results. Westerman was not arrested or charged, he said.

A State Highway Patrol spokesman said Westerman was highly impaired and was not injured.

At the scene Monday, Trooper Matt Manly said several witnesses saw a vehicle, which was northbound on SR 53, driving erratically, passing several vehicles.

He said the evidence showed the vehicle passed vehicles, was out of control and made contact with a Geo Tracker that also was northbound on SR 53. The Tracker was forced off the roadway and slammed into a pole due to the other driver’s erratic driving, he said.

The State Highway Patrol spokesman said Westerman kept driving without stopping and was located at his home in the Fort Seneca area. He was linked to the crash because a witness followed him to his home and a license plate was left at the scene, the spokesman said.

Sgt. Larry Mackling of Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said deputies located the man who fled and his vehicle at his residence and detained him until State Highway Patrol could get there.