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Fourth person dies in Toll Road crash

CREDIT: MEGHAN ELLIOTT

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The driver who was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of the Toll Road has died from his injuries, according to Indiana State Police.

Police issued a release Monday morning that stated Chintan Patel died from his injures.

Police said he was driving the Toyota that was traveling the wrong way on the on the Toll Road Sunday evening.

Around 7:30 p.m., ISP troopers were called about a Toyota that was driving erratically in the eastbound lanes near the 83 mile marker.

A short time later the driver of the Toyota allegedly turned around in the area of the 88 mile maker and began driving westbound in the eastbound lanes.

Six minutes after the first call, police received a call about a multi vehicle crash at the 84 mile marker in the eastbound lanes.

The preliminary investigation revealed Patel's car was westbound in the eastbound passing lane when his vehicle collided with a Chevy Tahoe driven by 46-year-old Octavius Rice.

The Tahoe came to a rest in the center median on its side and caught fire. Bystanders righted the vehicle and, along with troopers, attempted to put out the engine fire. The front seat passenger, 42-year-old Denita Rice, was pronounced dead at the scene. Bryson Rice, 1, also died at the scene. Makayla Lanier, 12, was taken to the hospital but died of her injuries. Nila Watkens, 10, was flown to Riley's Children's Hospital with serious injuries. The driver, Octavius Rice, was taken to Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.

The Toyota then collided with a semi driven by 30-year-old Ivan Radov of Berrien Springs. Radov was not injured.

The driver of a Chevy Malibu in the eastbound lanes swerved to avoid the crash, lost control, drove through the median, hit crash barrels and came to a rest in the westbound passing lane. The driver, 26-year-old Jasmine White, was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injures.

Patel, the driver of the Toyota, was taken to Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police notified the media Monday morning he died from his injuries.

ISP said alcohol is suspected as a factor in the crash.

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