It's not every day that firefighters are dispatched to help in an accident find a van embedded in the side of a home.
But that's what happened when members of the Norwalk Fire Department arrived at the scene of a crash that left a Norwalkman dead and his wife injured.
The Ohio Highway Patrol said the driver of the van, Olray Jones, 72, 6 Ford St., Norwalk, was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife, Renate G. Jones, 74, same address, was taken by Toledo St. Vincent's medical helicopter service to the University of Toledo Medical Center, the patrol said.
A hospital official, asked for Mrs. Jones's condition, said it does not have a patient with that name.
The highway patrol said it is still trying to figure out what happened and does not know if speed or another factor helped cause the crash.
The patrol said the crash took place at 11:33 a.m. Sunday. Jones was driving a white 1991 Plymouth Voyager van south on Ohio 61 near Ohio 601 when he ran off the left side of the road, hit a mailbox and then ran off the right side of the road.
Jones struck a tree and then slammed into a house.
The patrol didn’t give the address of the house, but the Norwalk Fire Department said the address is 776 E. Ohio 61, Norwalk and said the home’s owner is Roger Kinney. The crash site is located very near Tumney Trail Drive.
Kinney said Sunday he owns the house but does not live there and declined further comment.
Lt. Brett Beers of the Norwalk Fire Department reported that when firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a van embedded in the home’s east side with two people trapped inside.
Using the Jaws of Life, the firefighters were able to get Renate Jones out of the van in about seven and half minutes, Beers said. They then got her husband out of the van.
Firefighters helped set up a landing zone for the helicopter, secured the home’s utilities and helped the home’s occupants get their belongings out of their now-unsafe home, Beers wrote in his report.
Evans Funeral Home in Norwalk said it is handling funeral arrangements for Jones but said it had no details yet, noting that Mrs. Jones was still in the hospital.