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Woman possibly blacks out in fiery crash

Cary Ashby • Feb 12, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Authorities suspect a woman may have blacked out while she was driving, which led to a crash and vehicle fire early Monday morning.

A deputy sustained a burn to the lower part of his face when he was checking the car for any occupants.

Nobody was at the Ohio 61 crash site when first responders arrived. However, the Huron County Sheriff's Office later identified the driver as Korena K. Morse, 41, of 1224 Peru Olena Road.

"Apparently, she left her residence at 3:30 (a.m.). She was heading to Fremont to see her sister," Maj. Greg Englund said. "The only thing she remembers was she blacked out."

The next thing Morse reported remembering was lying on the ground outside the driver's door.

"She remembers seeing flames (coming) from the vehicle. She didn't have a cell phone to call anybody," Englund said.

Morse started walking when a passing driver eventually picked her up and took her home, he said.

"She said she fell asleep. When she woke up, her son was home," Englund said.

Morse used her son's cell phone to call her sister, who brought Morse to the sheriff's office. Deputies interviewed her at the station.

The Huron River Joint Fire District was dispatched to the vehicle fire at 5:12 a.m.

"The car was fully involved on our arrival. After extinguishing the fire, we discovered there was no occupants in the car. We searched the vicinity around the crash site, finding no one," Chief Tom Beck said.

Thirteen firefighters responded to the crash site in three trucks.

"On arrival, we found that a 2003 Dodge (Intrepid) had crashed through a guardrail along Ohio 61 after coming off of Snyder Road. The crash did heavy damage to the front end of the car, with at least 25 feet of the guardrail being pulled down," Beck said.

North Central EMS responded with an ambulance. Wilcox towed the car from the scene.

Deputies were notified of the crash about 5:30 a.m.

Sgt. Steve Shupp sustained burns to his face while checking to see if there was anybody in the car, Englund said. He said Shupp was looking inside the car when the air bag on the driver's side exploded and sent some burning plastic into his lower chin.

"He went to Fisher-Titus (Medical Center) to be treated and was released," Englund said.

Shupp was at the crash site -- on Ohio 61 near Snyder Road -- to assist Sgt. Tod Wagner with the investigation.

Englund was asked if Morse was issued a citation.

"It's still under investigation," he said.

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