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Published: Wednesday, 5/29/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Henry Co. family of 5 homeless after crash ignites house


NAPOLEON -- A Henry County couple and their three children are homeless today after a car plowed into their home about 10 miles southeast of here, caught fire, and set the home ablaze. The family escaped safely.

The alleged driver of the car, Jeffery Lauharn, 36, of 230 13th St., Toledo, was taken to Henry County Hospital for treatment, according to sheriff's Sgt. Sean Walker.

Sergeant Walker said the crash was reported at 12:44 a.m. Deputies said the car was northbound on County Road 7, had just crossed County Road J when it went out of control, striking the home of Travis and Angel Swihart.

After hitting the home, the vehicle caught fire, and the blaze spread to the house destroying it. The Swiharts were able to escape with their three children. Sergeant Walker said the house was destroyed. The driver of the car fled immediately after the crash.

Deputies traced the owner of the car to James Rohde, 74, of County Road 7, of nearby Grelton, Sergeant Walker said. Deputies questioned Mr. Rohde about 3 a.m., learning that he picked up Mr. Lauharn in Toledo, and the pair returned to the Rohde home. Mr. Rohde claimed the car was taken without his permission, Sergeant Walker said.

About 7 a.m. Mr. Rohde called the sheriff's office to report that Mr. Lauharn had returned to his home. Deputies arrested Mr. Lauharn, and he was taken for treatment for his injuries to the Napoleon hospital. The case is under investigation.

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