Traffic was shut down on a portion of State Road 59 Thursday evening while officials investigated the death of a 52-year-old Linton man discovered lying beside his car.
Shortly after 5:30 p.m., a passing motorist contacted 911 dispatchers at the Clay County Justice Center when they noticed a man lying on the road near a vehicle pulled off to the side of the southbound lane of the highway.
Members of the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police, Center Point Volunteer Fire Department and Clay County Search and Rescue were dispatched to the scene. AirEvac was initially dispatched, but was later disregarded.
"The caller said the man was lying next to the vehicle with a hand near the wheel well," Sgt. Jason Frazier told The Brazil Times, adding first responders on the scene attempted perform life-saving emergency procedures.
TransCare transported the unidentified male to St. Vincent Clay Hospital, where Clay County Deputy Coroner Sherri Swearingen pronounced the man dead of undetermined causes. The name of the victim is being withheld by authorities pending notification of the family.
Although no foul play is expected in the case, Clay County Coroner Rick Swearingen confirmed to The Brazil Times pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr would be performing an autopsy at Terre Haute Regional Hospital as a way to determine the cause of death. Preliminary results are expected within the next couple of days.
Officials closed down the north and southbound lanes of SR 59 from the intersection at State Road 42 and County Road 200 North, diverting traffic around the area.
While traffic was being rerouted, no one was injured when other emergency response personnel responded to the scene of a semi tractor-trailer that went off CR 25 W into a ditch in the area between CR 200 and CR 300 North.
Center Point Volunteer Fire Department Training Officer Bob Martin explained the procedure is used as a way to protect the integrity of the investigation, keep traffic at a minimum and as a safety precaution.
"Sometimes people driving by an accident scene will not be paying attention to their driving and we have another accident," Martin said. "It's a way to protect the safety of both emergency response personnel and motorists."