Three dead in New Paris crash

Apr. 25—NEW PARIS — Three people are dead following three-vehicle wreck near New Paris Thursday afternoon.

Two of the victims were confirmed to be men, and all three were from Mexico, according to an Elkhart County Sheriff's Office news release. All three were in the same vehicle, a 2009 Dodge Journey, and their ages were 32, 24 and 28.

The Journey was headed south at 3:02 p.m. on Ind. 15, south of C.R. 146, when it turned left, crossing the center line into the northbound lane, directly in front of a 2020 International LT625 semi-tractor driven by Mark Labouef, 49, Almo, Kentucky, according to Elkhart County deputies. The passenger side of the Dodge was struck by the front end of the semi-tractor.

A 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, driven by Lezlie Hein, 34, Warsaw, was following behind the Journey and was struck with debris from this impact.

Two occupants of the Dodge were ejected from the vehicle, and the other passenger was trapped inside it. All three, including the driver, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Neither Labouef nor Hein were injured, and both were wearing their seatbelts. Only one occupant of the Dodge was confirmed to have been wearing their seatbelts, the release added.

Steve Wilson is news editor for The Goshen News. You can reach him at