Fatal crash claims New Bremen man’s life

Crash with semi under investigation

CELINA — A New Bremen man died from severe injuries sustained in a crash with a semitrailer in Celina Monday morning.

Ryan M. Lageman, 25, was pronounced dead a short while after the crash at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys, according to the Celina Police Department.

Celina Police responded to a fatal traffic crash on state Route 29 at Havemann Road, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, at 8:46 a.m. Through the preliminary investigation, the Celina Police press release said, it was determined Lageman was driving a red 1991 Ford Ranger pickup truck southbound on Havemann Road when he entered the intersection of state Route 29 on a green light. At the same time, Kewal Pooni, 56, of Manitoba, Canada, was driving a 2016 Peterbilt semitrailer westbound on state Route 29 and also entered the intersection. Pooni entered the intersection against a red traffic light.

Lageman sustained severe injuries and was pronounced dead a short time later at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital. Pooni was not injured.

Both vehicles were heavily damaged. Neither alcohol nor drugs are suspected. There were no other occupants in either vehicle. Both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of crash.

The crash remains under investigation by Celina Police.

Lageman’s wife, Meg, is the head volleyball coach at New Knoxville Local Schools. Superintendent Kim Waterman said the team was informed of his death as soon as school officials received the news.

“We allowed them to stay together, cry, talk , hug, call mom/parents, and leave school. They came back at 3:15 where the coaches and the girls met with First Church Pastor and youth pastor for prayer. First Church then opened their ministry center for our students, families, and community to come to cry together, pray, process, and be together,” said Waterman in an email. “The volleyball girls left school and went straight to the church to have pizza and be together before everyone else arrived at 6:00. We are having team dinners tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) night, so they can continue to be together. The six seniors are a very close group of girls that have played together since they were able to play sports, (third grade, I think). Because of their leadership, the underclassmen feel very much a part of this team and have become very close. Only great coaches, great kids, families and community can keep them working together for each other and for the team.”

Waterman said she along with the guidance counselor, 4-12 principal and athletic director were available if anyone needed them on Tuesday.

“We will be playing Thursday,” said Waterman of the volleyball team who is in the midst of tournaments. “The assistant and JV coach will be coaching the team. The girl’s hearts will be with Meg, her daughter Bradie, and both the Reineke and Lageman families as they continue on their tournament journey. I believe it will give them an added fight because it would be what Meg and Ryan would have wanted for them.”

Crash with semi under investigation