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Published: Tuesday, 10/28/2008

Fort Wayne man found dead near Hicksville

HICKSVILLE, Ohio - Family members who were searching for a missing man alerted authorities yesterday morning when they found his body about 150 feet from his vehicle.

The Fort Wayne, Ind., man was killed in a traffic crash Sunday off Ohio-Indiana Line Road about a mile north of State Rt. 2, authorities said.

Todd Houtz, 31, who was driving a sport utility vehicle, was pronounced dead at dawn yesterday, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

The crash occurred about 3 p.m. Sunday in Defiance County's Hicksville Township, troopers in Defiance said.

Mr. Houtz was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Trail Blazer south on Ohio-Indiana State Line when he lost control of the vehicle on a hill, causing the SUV to swerve off the east side of the road and go into a ditch. The SUV then overturned several times before coming to rest in the woods, troopers said.

Mr. Houtz was found 150 feet from the vehicle, at a spot where he apparently collapsed after getting out of the vehicle and crawling toward the road for help, troopers said.

Authorities were alerted to the crash about 8 a.m. Monday by the man's relatives who had been searching for him since Sunday when they filed a missing-person report, troopers said.

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