Two injured in carjacking at hospital parking lot

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Columbus police investigate a carjacking in the Columbus Regional Hospital parking lot Monday night. Photo provided

Two people were injured, one suffering a serious head injury, after a Hope man was accused of carjacking a vehicle at Columbus Regional Hospital.

Columbus police were sent to the hospital parking lot at 2400 17th St. at 7:40 p.m. Monday about a vehicle crash with injuries, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

The suspect, identified as Kenneth W. Wentworth, 27, Hope, fled on foot after crashing a vehicle, Harris said. When officers arrived, Wentworth and a family member of the carjacking victim were in a physical struggle on 17th Street just off the hospital grounds, Harris said.

Kenneth W. Wentworth
Kenneth W. Wentworth

Police determined that Wentworth entered the unoccupied driver’s seat of a 2016 Chrysler Town and Country minivan and attempted to drive it out of the hospital parking lot, Harris said. The vehicle’s owner, Lorrie A. Crouch, 56, Hope, partially entered the passenger side of her vehicle and struggled with Wentworth, Harris said. Wentworth put the vehicle in reverse with the passenger striking Crouch’s 88-year-old mother, Sara Smith, who was seated near the vehicle in a wheelchair, Harris said.

Wentworth then accelerated the vehicle forward and struck a parked car, causing Crouch to fall out of the minivan and strike her head on the concrete parking lot surface, Harris said. Crouch suffered a head injury and was later flown to Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, Harris said.

Smith suffered lacerations to her left leg and hand and was treated at Columbus Regional Hospital.

Wentworth was arrested on charges of robbery, leaving the scene of a crash involving injury, auto theft and battery, Harris said.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

 

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.