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Autopsy results in for fatal accident

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Officials announced preliminary autopsy results of a Brazil couple killed in a traffic accident Monday evening.

Clay County Coroner Rick Swearingen Jr. told The Brazil Times Tuesday that autopsies are performed after fatal traffic accidents as a way to help determine whether a victim's health issues are a factor.

Pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr, who completed the autopsies at Terre Haute Regional Hospital late Tuesday afternoon, found no apparent medical issues that could have been a contributing factor in the accident that killed Jack and Claudia Hayes, ages 73 and 67 respectively.

Although the toxicology reports will not be available until later this week, Swearingen said Kohr ruled traumatic asphyxia, a form of suffocation, as the cause of death for both victims.

At approximately 7:21 p.m., Monday, 911 dispatchers at the Clay County Justice Center received a report of a single vehicle accident involving two victims on County Road 1200 North, just west of County Road 300 West.

According to the Clay County Sheriff's Department's preliminary accident report, the couple were attempting to return home when their 1992 Toyota truck apparently left the south side of CR 1200 N, and traveled approximately 75 feet before colliding with a tree.

The collision crushed the couple between the dashboard and the truck's seats.

Although members of the Van Buren and Dick Johnson volunteer fire departments, Clay County Search and Rescue and Trans Care Ambulance attempted to extricate the couple from the vehicle in a effort to provide medical aide, due to the severity of the injuries they both died at the scene.

While the accident remains under investigation, officials report road conditions from Monday's inclement weather, as well as speed, were considered factors in the crash.

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May God be with their family during this time of loss..

-- Posted by ibclean76@yahoo.com on Wed, Dec 3, 2008, at 6:32 AM

I wander if this accident could have been avoided if salt and sand had been applied to the roadways before the ice storm hit? We saw four accidents on the way home and none of the roads had anything applied. If we do not have enough money to cover salts and sand, then we need to find it. A special fund needs to be collected to get the necessary salt available. This accident and many more are senseless. We barely made it home safe.

Im sorry for the loss of the Hayes. This is so sad.

-- Posted by Pearl2083 on Wed, Dec 3, 2008, at 11:16 AM

First off, my heartfelt condolences go out the the Hayes family for their loss.


I think better application of sand would be the most appropriate. All the salt does is melt the snow and create the slush that freezes and makes things worse. If sand was applied properly in the right amount no salt would be needed. I have seen this done in several states with snowfall amounts much greater than Indiana and it works well.

As for many of the accidents we encountered over that evening, they could have been prevented if drivers use common sense and slow down. It's always like this the first snow of the year. Many people refuse to slow down and feel inconvenienced by the delays. I sincerely hope the state highway department is prepared for what's to come, I believe we will get much worse (snowfall and ice) than what we saw monday.

Now would be a good idea for everyone to get their winter service and check their tires, if you haven't already done so. Don't forget to pack a roadside emergency kit in your car, just in case.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Wed, Dec 3, 2008, at 12:15 PM

TY for your thoughts and prays. i think there should be something put on the roads as soon as it even looks like it may be slick, i know it happened fast Monday on the roads. my mother was a very SAFE and SLOW driver!!! so it had to be she hit the ice just right for this to happen!

lost without my parents!

-- Posted by granny4life on Thu, Dec 4, 2008, at 5:47 AM

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