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Warsaw man critically injured in reported jump from moving pickup

He was quarreling with driver beforehand, police say.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 6:43 am

A Warsaw man was airlifted in critical condition to a hospital Friday morning after jumping from a moving vehicle south of Nappanee, Kosciusko County sheriff's deputies said Friday.

Deputies and rescue workers from Nappanee were dispatched at 5:41 a.m. Friday to Kosciusko County Road 800 West just south of County Road 850 North. A 911 call alerted authorities to a man injured after he jumped from a moving vehicle. They found Jerry Lee Charles Belcher, 21, of Warsaw, who was unconscious and had extensive head injuries, according to a news release. He was flown to South Bend Memorial Hospital.

Sheriff's deputies were told Belcher had been a passenger in a pickup driven by a male relative, according to the release. As they were traveling to work, both men began quarreling. While traveling northbound on County Road 800 West, Belcher suddenly opened the pickup's front passenger-side door and jumped out, according to reports to deputies.

The driver immediately stopped, went back and found Belcher in the ditch-line area; investigators said a third person in the second row of seats inside the pickup confirmed the driver''s account, according to the release.

The incident is still being investigated, and Belcher remained in critical condition at midday Friday.