A Mishawaka couple married died after the SUV they were riding in was struck by an Indiana State Police trooper who was heading to a crash scene in northeastern Indiana.
The crash happened Tuesday, July 24, along the Indiana Toll Road in Steuben County.
Investigators say Trooper Osbaldo Regalado and another trooper were driving westbound in marked state police cars with their emergency lights and sirens activated. State police say Regalado tried to avoid slowing traffic and struck the back of the SUV driven by 76-year-old Terry Lynn Wentworth of Mishawaka.
Police say Wentworth and his wife, 74-year old Gloria Jean Wentworth, died at the scene of their injuries. Regalado was taken to a hospital for what were described as non-life threatening injuries.
The crash is under investigation.
The Indiana State Police sent the following information about the crash:
The Indiana State Police are investigating a fatal vehicle crash that occurred on the Indiana Toll Rd near the 147.8mm at approximately 4:00pm, in Steuben County. The crash involved an Indiana State Police Trooper from the Toll Road Post and two Mishawaka residents.
According ISP Sergeant Andy Smith, at approximately 4:00pm Trooper Jacob Bill and Trooper Osbaldo Regalado, both assigned to the Indiana State Police Toll Road Post, were responding to assist the LaGrange County Sheriff Department with a reported vehicle crash in rural LaGrange County. Both Troopers were operating fully marked Indiana State Police cars with the emergency red and blue lights and sirens activated, and both were traveling in the westbound left lane on the Toll Road near the 148mm prior to the crash. Bill was leading, with Regalado trailing.
Preliminary investigation indicates that Trooper Regalado’s vehicle made an evasive maneuver to avoid slowing traffic, swerving towards the right lane and striking the rear of a white 2006 Ford Freestyle Limited SUV driven by 76 year old Terry Lynn Wentworth of Mishawaka. Wentworth’s wife, 74 year old Gloria Jean Wentworth was the front seat passenger in the car. As a result of this collision, both Wentworth’s and Regalado’s vehicles continued off the roadway to the right, colliding with a guardrail. Both vehicles sustained very heavy damage in the collision with the guardrail.
As a result of injuries sustained, Terry Wentworth was subsequently pronounced deceased at the scene by the Steuben County Coroner. Steuben County EMS Paramedics tended to Gloria Wentworth at the scene. A Parkview Hospital Samaritan helicopter was summoned to assist with Gloria, however she also succumbed to her injuries at the scene, pronounced deceased by the Steuben County Coroner. Notifications have been made to the immediate family members of the deceased.
Regalado was transported by ambulance to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne with non-life threatening injuries.
Crash reconstructionists from the Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post are assisting Sergeant Smith with the fatal crash investigation which is ongoing at this time. Once the investigation is complete a full report will be turned over to the Steuben County Prosecutor’s Office for review.