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November 27, 2021

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Accident at Lincoln Highway and Bentley Road sends five to hospitals

Among those hospitalized is Teri Steinmetz, Bluffton first grade teacher

Bluffton residents Joel and Teri Steinmetz and two of their children received injuries from a two-vehicle accident Sunday, at the intersection of Lincoln Highway and Bentley Road, according to the Lima Post of the State Highway Patrol.

In addition, the driver of the second vehicle, Monica L. Nostrum, 44, of Bellaire, Michigan, received injuries.

Teri Steinmetz is a first grade teacher in Bluffton schools. The first day of school is today, Monday, Aug. 27. Greg Denecker, Bluffton superintendent, told the Icon that Christina Garmatter, a Bluffton substitute teacher, is teaching in place of Mrs. Steinmetz.

“Christina is one of our substitute teachers and is very familiar with the Bluffton schools,” said Denecker.

According to the patrol:

At about 12:12 p.m., a 2008 Toyota Sienna, driven by Joel K. Steinmetz, 42, of Bluffton, was traveling eastbound on Lincoln Highway near Bentley Road.

At the same time, a 2013 Honda Accord, driven by Monica L. Nystrom, 44, of Bellaire, Michigan, was eastbound on Lincoln Highway and traveling behind Steinmetz.

Nystrom attempted to pass within the intersection and struck Steinmetz’s vehicle as he attempted to turn. After the collision, the Sienna went off the road and came to rest in a field.

According to the Patrol, Joel Steinmetz sustained minor injuries and was treated and released at the scene.

Teri L. Steinmetz, 40, sitting in the front seat, was ejected from the vehicle and was transported by Beaverdam-Richland EMS to Mercy Health St. Rita’s, Lima, with non-life threatening injuries.

As of Monday morning, the patrol says she remains there in stable condition.

The patrol also reports that two children who were passengers in the Toyota, ages 8 years and 10 years old, were transported by Bluffton EMS to Mercy Health St. Rita’s with non-life threatening injuries.

Both children were later transferred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, where they remain in critical, but stable condition.

The patrol said that Nystrom is suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol. She was transported to Lima Memorial Hospital by Lafayette-Jackson EMS, where she was treated for minor injuries. Safety belt usage remains unknown for some of the occupants.

The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending, the patrol said.

Assisting at the scene were Beaverdam-Richland Fire and EMS, Lafayette-Jackson EMS, Bluffton EMS, Blake’s Towing and Able Towing.