A crushed Pontiac Grand AM reveals the severity of a one-car crash on S.R. 46 Thursday morning.
By IVY HERRON
An early morning rain shower created road conditions that caused a single-vehicle accident on S.R. 46 Thursday and sent one man to St. Vincent Clay Hospital.
"People need to realize that light rain on roadways with oil build-up (which happens when roads have not been rained on for a while) will cause slippery conditions," Trooper Brenda Simmons said.
Shortly after 7:30 a.m., Devyash Goel, 21, of Terre Haute, was traveling S.R. 46 when he lost control of his Pontiac Grand AM and it left the roadway. The car went into a ditch on the south side of the road, became airborne and flipped several times before landing on its wheels. Officials on the scene estimated the vehicle traveled 300-400 feet, hitting the ground three times before it stopped.
A vehicle, driven by Carl Clark, 63, of Coal City, was damaged by flying rocks and debris as it drove by at the time of the accident, but no injuries were reported.
Indiana State Police Trooper Chris Wright was on the scene at 7:50 a.m. and spoke to Goel while he was being treated for minor injuries at the hospital.
"(Goel) said it was raining, and he was traveling east bound on U.S. 46 when the car began to 'jitter' before he lost control," Trooper Wright said. "I would say the road conditions were a major factor of this accident, but Indiana law states that a driver should 'maintain a due regard to given conditions' while driving."
Officials credit Goel wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident for his saving his life.
"A seatbelt is intended to keep the driver safely inside the metal framework of the vehicle during an accident, to protect them," Trooper Simmons said. "Many people complain about wearing a seatbelt, saying that it is uncomfortable, but having your head hit the windshield, or even worse, is a lot more uncomfortable."
Goel, who sustained minor injuries, was treated and released from St. Vincent Clay Hospital Thursday afternoon.
"I've heard people say they don't wear seatbelts because they want to be thrown clear of the accident, that's wrong thinking," Trooper Wright said. "If you're thrown from a vehicle, most likely you're going the same direction as the vehicle and you're going to be hurt, or worse."