Local woman injured in Starke County crash

COLUMBIA CITY — An employee of the South Whitley Public Library was seriously injured Friday in a three-vehicle crash in Starke County, according to Starke County police.Virginia Doenges, 76 of South Whitley suffered a severe injury to her right leg after the vehicle she was driving crashed into a semi-tractor trailer driven by Charles Peterson of Dysart, Iowa.The accident occurred at about 7:23 p.m. near the Grovertown Truck Stop on U.S. 30 in Starke County.According to the police report and WKVI radio in Knox, Peterson was crossing the median into the parking lot pulling an oversized load. His trailer was just short of clearing the westbound lanes when Doenges’ vehicle crashed into the middle axle of the trailer.Peterson continued into the parking lot and stopped.A witness told police that she never slowed down and crashed her vehicle into the axle of the trailer, spinning around and coming to rest in the middle of both westbound lanes.The crash, according to the witness, disabled the lights in Doenges’ vehicle and a third driver, Jamshid Nazari, of Fort Wayne crashed his vehicle into the front right fender of Doenges’ car.A witness told police that Nazari never slowed to avoid the crash.According to co-workers of Doenges at the library, the local woman was taken to Memorial Hospital in South Bend where she was scheduled for surgery today.At press time, no other details are available other than doctors are working to try to save the woman’s leg.Her right leg was being flushed and drained, according to library personnel reading from a Facebook entry by Doenges’ daughter Lynette.“She is alert, but has a long rehab ahead of her,” the posting read.