Indiana Central News
Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute, Indiana
Wintry weather has returned with a vengeance in the Wabash Valley, creating challenges for drivers.
Indiana State Police Troopers from the Putnamville Post were "extremely" busy today with snow/ice related motor vehicle crashes, Sgt. Joe Watts said this afternoon He noted that the majority of occurred along Interstate 70 in Vigo, Clay and Putnam counties.
Between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., troopers responded to:14 property damage crashes; seven personal Injury crashes(mostly minor, except for two) ; 18 slide offs; and six mechanically disabled vehicle.
Troopers responded to the 37 mile marker eastbound (Putnam County) for a two pickup and one tractor-trailer crash just before 8:30 a.m. No injuries were reported. All eastbound lanes were opened around 2:15p.m. Cloverdale Fire/Rescue and Indiana Department of Emergency Management assisted.
"The crash ruptured the fuel tanks on the tractor-trailer causing a hazardous material cleanup. Eastbound lanes were initially closed for a few minutes, then one lane was opened while cleanup occurred," Watts said.
Another crash around 8:30 a.m. -- at the 37 mile marker westbound (Putnam County) -- resulted in three injuries, entrapment, and lane closures lasting nearly four hours, according to Watts.
"During this time, westbound traffic was rerouted US 231 North to US 40 west. A westbound UPS tractor-trailer, driven by 64-year-old James Powell of St. Charles, Mo., lost control on the ice, traveled into median and back onto roadway into the path of a Fed Ex tractor-trailer, driven by 50-year-old Aleksandr Melnik of Rego Park, New York," Watts said.
Melnik was entrapped for about an hour before being extricated by members of Cloverdale Fire/Rescue and Washington Township Fire/Rescue. Powell reportedly was transported to Putnam County Hospital by Putnam County Operation Life for minor injuries. Melnik reportedly was airlifted by StatFlight air ambulance to Indianapolis hospital for treatment of possible internal injuries.
A third serious crash happened on eastbound I-70 near the 5mm (Vigo County) at 10 a.m.
"The multi-vehicle crash entrapped 74-year-old F. William Bruck II of Beavercreek, Ohio in his motor home for nearly one hour as members of Sugar Creek Fire/Rescue, with assistance from Peffley and Hinshaw Wrecker Service, completed the extrication," Watts said.
Bruck was transported to Regional ER by Riley Fire/EMS for lower leg injuries. His wife reported no injuries at the scene. Eastbound lanes were closed for nearly one hour for extrication. Some traffic was detoured onto eastbound US 40 to US 41 south, Watts said.
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News Writer: Lucy Perry