18-Year-Old's Identity Released In Fatal Fiery Crash

By Scott Sarvay
By Nicole Hahn
By Max Resnik

Map: Tonkel Road Crash

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November 9, 2010 Updated Nov 11, 2010 at 12:04 PM EST

LEO, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - We can now release the name of the young man who died after causing a fiery crash on Tonkel Road that killed a wheelchair-bound woman.

Police say 18-year-old Trevor Bussen caused the crash when he tried to pass another car driven by 18-year-old Erica Shepard in a 'no passing' zone and hit a handicap accessible van head on. Bussen was pinned in his vehicle which caught fire and resulted in his death.

Shepard was taken to the hospital, treated and released.

Police say 21-year-old Desiare Martin, who was in a wheelchair as a passenger in the handicap accessible van, was thrown through the windshield and died at the scene.

Officials say the driver of the van, 24-year-old Brian Eldridge, was taken by helicopter to the hospital in critical condition.

Across the street from the crash is where James and Janet Marino live. James was outside cutting the grass when he heard what he described as a tire explosion.

Upon heading down his driveway towards that sound, he saw what turned out to be that three car crash. Janet was the first to dial 911 as James rushed to try to help each of the victims.

James described thick, black smoke that billowed from the car of the young man, whose identity has not yet been released. He also derbies how he could not find any evidence that someone other than Eldridge was riding in the handicap accessible van. Of course he would later find that Desiare Martin was a passenger in that van.

James says he heard a number of small explosions around the cars and feared that a gas tank could explode at any time. He looked over Erica Shepard, who made it out of her car safely, until EMS and the Allen County Sheriff's Department arrived.

James and Janet both say this is an event that is still fresh in their minds.




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