The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal single-vehicle accident in Williams County.

Defiance Post Commander Lt. Robert Ashenfelter reported that at 9:35 p.m. Tuesday, James L. Karcher, 65, of Edgerton, was driving a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu east on County Road D when he failed to stop for a stop sign at Ohio 576.

The Malibu crossed the highway and struck a guardrail before traveling down an embankment. It came to rest in a yard after hitting a utility pole.

Karcher was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, Ashenfelter said. He was transported with serious injuries by Williams County EMS to Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers-Bryan, then flown by Samaritan Life Flight to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He succumbed to his injuries early Wednesday morning.

“Impairment is believed to have been a factor,” Ashenfelter said. The incident remains under investigation. The Williams County Sheriff’s Office and Bryan Fire Department assisted at the scene.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol encourages drivers and occupants to always wear their safety belts, and to never drive distracted or impaired.

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