2018-05-16 / Front Page

Chase Starts North Of Archbold, Ends In Crash In Montpelier

Units from 11 law enforcement agencies were involved in a pursuit of a vehicle that started north of Archbold and ended in a crash in Montpelier, Friday, May 11.

Matt Smithmyer, a major with the Fulton County Sheriff Department, said at about 5:13 pm, sheriff dispatchers received a 911 call about a pickup truck operating recklessly– with a driver who was possibly drunk– in the area of St. Rt. 66 and US20A.

Later, a witness flagged down a deputy and identified the truck.

The deputy attempted to stop the pickup, the driver refused to stop, and the chase was on.

Smithmyer said the chase went “here, there, and everywhere.” The driver fled north on St. Rt. 66. Near Fayette, Fayette police attempted to deploy stop sticks to puncture the pickup tires.

But the pickup “turned around in someone’s yard” and fled south, before heading into Williams County.

Williams County

A press release from the Williams County Sheriff Department states at about 5:21 pm, FCSD called for help from Williams County deputies.

The release states the pursuit traveled west on Co. Rd. M, crossing the county line into Williams County on Williams Co. Rd. O.

“The pursuit traveled through the city of Bryan, the village of Blakeslee, the village of West Unity, and the village of Montpelier,” the release states.

“Upon traveling west through the village of Montpelier, the vehicle failed to stop at the stop light on East Main Street at Whitaker Way.

“Upon traveling into the intersection, the truck struck a (car) that was turning west onto East Main Street from Whitaker Way.

“The truck veered off the first car and struck a second car that was in the westbound lane stopped at the red traffic light.”

The drivers of the two cars were taken to Community Hospitals & Wellness Centers Montpelier, where they were treated and released.

The driver of the pickup, identified by Smithmyer as Nicholas Karpanai, 39, Jonesville, Mich., was taken to the Montpelier hospital before being flown by helicopter ambulance to Parkview Medical Center, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Around midday, Monday, May 14, a Parkview spokesman said Karpanai was in fair condition.

Homicidal, Suicidal

The press release states Karpanai was possibly suicidal, homicidal, and under the influence of drugs.

Smithmyer said in Fulton County, Karpanai could face charges of fleeing or eluding, failure to comply with the order of signal of a police officer, “which could be a felony,” and traffic violations.

Also, once medical records are obtained by subpoena, Karpanai could face additional charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated either by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.

Participating in the pursuit were Fulton and Williams County sheriff departments and police departments from Fayette, Montpelier, West Unity, Bryan, Edon, Stryker, Pioneer, Edgerton, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The Montpelier Fire Department and the Williams County Emergency Medical Service responded to the accident scene.

The incident remains under investigation.

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