claims life of SR teacher
cause of serious accidents
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
Police say ice and snow covered roadways contributed
to a fatal accident and another serious one last week.
Thursday morning, February 19, South Ripley school teacher Sandra
Michelle Riggle, 26, of North Vernon, lost her life in a crash
that occurred about 7:40 a.m. on US 50 west of Holton.
According to the Ripley County Sheriffs Office, Riggle was
eastbound on US 50 driving a 2001 Chevy Cavalier passenger car
when she lost control in a curve and crossed into the westbound
lane of traffic. At that time Timothy L. Mills, 55, Versailles,
was traveling westbound operating a 2001 Dodge 4x4 pick up truck,
and could not avoid the Riggle vehicle. She was struck in the
passenger side and was pronounced dead at the scene by Ripley
County Coroner Ron Buchanan.
US 50 was closed for approximately three hours while the investigation
was conducted and the roadway cleared. Deputy Jason Dickerson,
Ripley County Sheriffs Office, and Sgt. Dan Goris, Indiana
State Police, investigated the crash.
Superintendent of South Ripley Community Schools Ted Ahaus told
the Osgood Journal the corporation immediately gathered
the staff and called counselors and clergy to respond to the school.
Thursday was a hard day as school officials, teachers and students
came to grips with the death of someone Ahaus described as a
very bright teacher they were proud to have on their team.
Riggle taught chemistry, physics, and biology at South Ripley
where she was also the junior class sponsor. She was a 2006 graduate
of Indiana University Southeast, holding two bachelors degrees.
She graduated in 2001 from Jefferson High School, Jeffersonville.
On South Ripley's website she posted this message, I look
forward to many years of teaching at South Ripley.
She was in her second year of teaching at the school where Ahaus
noted, We were glad to have her and she was glad to be here.
South Ripley Homecoming held a somber note Friday night as the
teacher was remembered. Team members wore black arm bands and
at half time a short memorial was held in her honor. The center
fold of the program for the evening was dedicated in her honor.
Principal Bob Meyer said she would be sadly missed.
Riggle was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Jeffersonville
and a Gold Award Girl Scout. She was the daughter of Walter and
Sandy Riggle, both educators in the Salem/New Albany school systems.
Funeral services were held Monday, February 23 at the Scott Funeral
Homes North Chapel, Jeffersonville. Memorials may be made
to the Sandra Michelle Riggle Scholarship Fund in care of the
Indiana State Trooper seriously injured
In an accident that occurred Saturday, February 21 about 4:35
p.m. Indiana State Trooper Clifton Elston, 31, of Cross Plains,
was seriously injured when he lost control of his 2006 Ford Crown
Victoria on US 421.
According to information from Sgt. Noel Houze, public information
officer for the Versailles Post, Trooper Clifton was northbound
on US 421 about a mile south of Versailles when he lost control,
skidded left of center, and was struck broadside in the passenger
side. That vehicle, a 1994 Ford Thunderbird, was being operated
by Lance Provost, 37 of Louisville, KY.
Trooper Elston sustained serious injuries, and was air cared to
Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with the initial report noting
he was suffering from multiple leg fractures and fractured ribs.
Sgt. Houze told the Osgood Journal Monday morning, February 23,
that Elston was in fair condition and was looking to possibly
come home later in the week.
Provost suffered severe lacerations to his left hand. Passengers
in the Provost vehicle were: Krystel Kemper, 26, who had bruising
to her right hand and foot, Lana Provost, 13, who was also bruised,
and Courtney Gootee, 14, who sustained a head laceration and possible
broken ankle. All were from Louisville.
Several rescue squads were dispatched to the scene including:
Ripley County Medic, Rescue 69, Milan Rescue 30, and Kings
Daughters' EMS. The Versailles and Dillsboro fire departments
also responded, along with state police from the Versailles Post,
deputies from the Ripley County Sheriffs Office, and Versailles
and Milan police officers.
PHOTO COURTESY OF VERSAILLES
FIRE AND RESCUE
South Ripley School teacher Michelle Riggle,
26, lost her life in this tragic accident that police say
ice/ snowy roadways contributed to. She was driving a 2001
Chevy Cavalier and lost control and was struck by a pickup
truck being operated by Timothy Mills, 55, of Versailles.
The accident occurred on Thursday, February 19 west of Holton
on US 50.