Within less than 24 hours of one another, two major traffic accidents shut down a portion of I-65 in Boone County causing major traffic delays.
Just before noon on Tuesday, police say a driver was traveling at a high rate of speed near the area of multiple construction projects along I-65 in Whitestown and rear-ended a semi, ending up underneath its back wheels and pinning the driver.
Whitestown Metropolitan Police Department spokesman John Jurkash said with the construction lane movements and higher traffic rates, the driver was not able to stop in time, causing three other vehicles to crash as well. There is no criminal investigation into this crash, Jurkash confirmed.
“All things considered, this was the best case scenario,” Jurkash said.
The only injury the driver sustained was a broken hand. He was taken to St. Vincent Hospital for a check, then to Witham at Anson. Indiana University Health Lifeline was initially called, but the driver refused to be taken by air transport, Jurkash said.
“We don’t usually call those medical helicopters out unless it’s very dire,” Jurkash said. “We called that in preparation due to the initial look of the scene and our observations.”
Jurkash reminded motorists to expect slowed or delayed traffic in the Whitestown area of I-65 while construction is in progress.
“Take the extra caution and pay attention, especially when you’re going through those construction zones,” he said. “I know it can be an inconvenience, but even seek alternate routes just to avoid the area. We have several through town that can get you to Indianapolis or Lebanon and can bypass all of that traffic.”
Due to the nature of the crash, Jurkash said all northbound and southbound lanes of I-65 were shut down for at least two hours with some lanes opening up as the scene was cleared. The interstate was completely opened up almost four hours later. Jurkash said with the crash being such a delicate one, they had to be very careful clearing the vehicles, which is why both lanes were closed.
“It was just another great example of all the local law enforcement, fire department and tow agencies coming together to make sure we got the job done,” he added.
Just 12 hours later, emergency responders were called to the scene of a serious crash on I-65 southbound near the 128 mile marker, just south of I-865. First responders on scene located a heavily damaged passenger car wedged underneath a semi-tractor trailer, Indiana State Police Sft. John Perrine said in a press release.
The driver, who was the sole occupant, was out of the vehicle on the ground and seriously injured when authorities arrived. Another semi that was involved was stopped at the scene as well. The driver of the passenger car, an adult female, was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.
An ISP press release said preliminary investigation determined the car was southbound on I-65 in the right lane and traveling at a high rate of speed when it struck the rear end of a semi tractor-trailer.
The car then spun into the side of another semi tractor-trailer before going back underneath the trailer it had originally hit. Investigators do not believe the driver was ejected; they say she she either climbed out of the car on her own or was helped out by bystanders. The southbound lanes were closed for nearly five hours while the crash was investigated and the vehicles removed.
The investigation into the circumstances of the crash is ongoing, Perrine said.
ISP was assisted by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, the Zionsville Fire Department, Zore’s Wrecker Service and the Indiana Department of Transportation.