bridge contributes to accident
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
Its that time of year when the weather can change as the
temperature falls causing roadways to become icy and treacherous
in a hurry.
Last Wednesday, January 7, two drivers became victims of Indianas
icy weather conditions as they were traveling on US 50 near the
Jennings County line.
According to information from Deputy Andrew Hammack, two people
were injured in the two-vehicle accident that occurred a little
after 6 p.m. on US 50 near County Road 1000 West, in Ripley County.
Working in conjunction with Holton Town Marshal Bob Curl, the
officers determined that Carla Shasteen, 38, of Herrin, Illinois,
had been apparently traveling westbound on US 50 when she crossed
a bridge and slid due to the ice. She then struck a guardrail
on the north side of the roadway, crossed the centerline, and
struck a 2001 Ford Expedition that was being operated by John
Laforce, 47, of Cory.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene with the first confusion
being exactly where the accident was located and in what county.
Agencies from Jennings and Ripley were both called to the accident
that saw Shasteen extricated from her vehicle by the Versailles
Fire and Rescue. She sustained lacerations to her head, a fractured
leg and other injuries. She was taken to St. Vincent Jennings
County by Jennings County EMS.
Laforce complained of upper arm and shoulder pain and was taken
to Margaret Mary Community Hospital in Batesville by Rescue 69.
Also responding to the scene were Ripley County Medic, Holton
and Versailles fire departments and first responders, and the
Indiana State Police.
Versailles Fire and Rescue member Chuck Gunter told the Osgood
Journal the bridge was extremely slick and hazardous, making it
difficult even for rescue personnel to navigate.
While the weather that evening didnt merit a snow emergency
in the county, Commissioner Robert Reiners reminds motorists there
is a policy in place.
When a Level I emergency is declared by commissioners it means
roadways have, or are expected to have, significant accumulations
of ice, freezing rain, sleet, snow, or significant blowing and
drifting of snow. This level means roadways or major sections
of the roadways are closed or impassable. Travel may be delayed
and there is a risk to motorists who are exposed to these conditions.
When a Level I is declared, only essential travel is permitted.
What is essential travel? This is defined as: people going to
and from work, traveling to get necessary medical care or required
prescription medications, going to get essential supplies of food,
fuel or safe shelter. This includes emergency vehicles and workers
engaged in emergency operations. All non-essential travel is prohibited.
A Level II means all roadways are closed to non-emergency vehicles
and personnel. Only the following are allowed to be on the roadways:
Emergency personnel, which includes members of law enforcement
agencies, fire departments, emergency medical service providers,
search and rescue organizations, rescue squads, military organizations,
disaster relief organizations, emergency management personnel
and required mutual aid personnel.
Critical occupations personnel includes employees of utility
companies, highway departments, towing and wrecker services, fuel
delivery suppliers, news media and hospital and healthcare organizations.
Basically, with the Level II, most people need to stay off the
Motorist are urged to use extreme caution during the winter months,
listen to media outlets for road conditions and whether emergencies
have been declared in the direction of travel you are going.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHUCK
GUNTER, VERSAILLES FIRE AND RESCUE
Pictured are both vehicles involved in an
accident that occurred last Wednesday evening, January 7
when they collided on an icy bridge west of Holton on US
50. Both drivers were the only occupants of their vehicles
and were transported to area hospitals.