3 dead after 2-car crash near Peru

(WISH Photo, File)

PERU, Ind. (WISH) — Three people died Friday after a two-vehicle crash near Peru in Miami County.

Officers with Indiana State Police, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and the Peru Police Department responded to State Road 19 south of County Road 500 South around 11:55 a.m. Friday, ISP said in a news release.

Douglas Clinkenbeard, 53, of Elwood, was driving a 2003 Ford Explorer north on State Road 19 when, for an undetermined reason, he traveled off the road, overcorrected and crossed the center line, striking at 2004 Jeep Cherokee traveling south, a preliminary ISP investigation found.

Clinkenbeard, who was ejected from his vehicle, died at the scene. The driver of the Jeep, 31-year-old Nicholas Miler of Peru, and the passenger in the Jeep, 18-year-old Paige Williamson, of Peru, also died at the scene. Clinkenbeard was not wearing a seat belt; Miller and Williamson were wearing seat belts, ISP said.

The investigation is ongoing, but police say excessive speed on the part of the Explorer is believed to be a factor.