An accident involving a jeep and a semi closed a portion of S.R. 59 south of Carbon Friday afternoon. No injuries were reported, but traffic was backed up for more than 40 minutes on the roadway.
By IVY HERRON
Alcohol was a contributing factor in a two-vehicle accident that closed a portion of S.R. 59, a half mile south of Carbon, and backed up traffic for 40 minutes Friday afternoon.
Around 12:15 p.m., James Willis, a semi-truck driver from Sullivan, called 911 dispatchers to report a Jeep swerved across the center line of S.R. 59 and drove into his trailer.
The Jeep, driven by Tyron D. Dietzer of rural Rockville, slammed into the wheel well behind the semi cab, hit the back wheels, braking the driver's side front tire rod. Both vehicles continued approximately 150 feet in opposite directions before stopping, dragging debris from the collision along the road.
No injuries were reported at the scene.
Dietzer told authorities that he drove left of center to avoid a deer in the road, which was unconfirmed by witnesses at the scene. He was also confused about where he was at, thinking he was on a road near Rockville.
Failing field sobriety tests performed at the scene, Dietzer was taken into custody and transported to the Clay County Justice Center by Clay County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Pierce for further testing.
Deputy Pierce confirmed Dietzer failed a Datamaster breath test -- testing at .23, almost three times the legal limit -- and was arrested at 1:30 p.m. on a preliminary charge of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.
Indiana State Police Trooper Sam Stearley performed an inspection of Willis' semi to determine whether it could be driven from the scene. Although the outer rims of the wheel wells were damaged, the semi did not have to be towed from the scene.
Dietzer remains in incarcerated at the Clay County Justice Center on a 10 percent, $7,000 bond as of press time.