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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Weather creates treacherous road conditions

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Five individuals were involved in a four-vehicle accident at the Interstate-70 30-mile-marker Tuesday. However, only three sustained injuries while one semi driver and Trooper Chad Hilton were not injured during the accident. Courtesy Photo (Indiana State Police).
A winter weather front created havoc throughout Clay County Tuesday evening.

As a blistery mix of foul weather conditions swept into the area, road conditions worsened and reports of traffic accidents and slide-offs began to swamp 911 dispatchers at the Clay County Justice Center shortly before 3 p.m.

While state highway workers were doing their best to get salt on the roadways, several chain reaction accidents were reported on Interstate-70.

Putnamville Post Indiana State Police Public Information Officer and Sgt. Rich Myers told The Brazil Times he and other emergency personnel discovered five separate accidents while responding to a major accident at the 30-mile marker.

Myers was responding to a four-vehicle crash in the westbound lane of I-70 which involved two tractor-trailer semis, a 2003 GMC Envoy and an ISP cruiser.

Five individuals were involved in the accident, however only three were injured. One semi driver and Trooper Chad Hilton were not injured during the accident.

Preliminary accident investigation results have determined the weather and road conditions were factors in the accident.

"It is not just the state roads, everything is covered with a thin sheet of ice. There's a fine mist of rain in the air, which you almost don't feel yet it freezes on contact, making the road conditions incredibly dangerous," Myers told The Brazil Times. "I think it really caught the public off guard."

As the evening approached, county roads became problematic.

"It's treacherous out here," Clay County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Rob Gambill said during a telephone interview while responding to one of many accident reports throughout the county. "Motorists need to use caution and slow down during these types of driving conditions. Pleasure driving should be avoided at all costs when the weather is like this."

Gambill said several off-duty officers scheduled to participate in the annual Shop-With-A Cop program reported to duty so they could work the numerous accident reports.

However, one officer became involved in an accident.

Although details are limited due to the ongoing investigation by Indiana State Police, Gambill was able to confirm to The Brazil Times that Det. Jeff Maynard was injured in an accident Tuesday evening.

While driving northbound on State Road 59, Maynard's police cruiser was struck from behind by an unidentified motorist in an area near the entrance of Lake Shore Estates (just south of County Road 600 North).

Initially transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital, Maynard was later taken to a Terre Haute hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.

"All the roads in the county are dangerous, but I think the northern part is hit the hardest," Gambill said. "Especially north of State Road 46, it is terrible out here."

Apparently the streets in Brazil weren't so bad.

According to officials at the Brazil City Police Department, only a few accidents were reported within city limits.

"Most of our accident reports occurred between 3-4 p.m.," Det. Todd Stemm said, "And they were mostly property damage and slide-offs."

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I'm sad to see accidents such as these this close to the holiday. My hearts and prayers go out to the families of all involved.

-- Posted by andypflueger on Wed, Dec 17, 2008, at 5:13 AM

People really need to stay off the roads unless they absolutely have to go somewhere. I hope Jeff recovers okay!

-- Posted by Pro Se on Wed, Dec 17, 2008, at 8:09 AM

My trip back from Terre Haute was a real white knuckle ride as I tried to get home. There were some total idiots on the road. I had a person following me so close that I couldn't see his headlights in my rear view mirror. Another "fine individual" went flying by at about 60 MPH. About two miles down the road he introduced his shiny new 4WD to a ditch. Hopefully he is now smart enough to know that 4WD doesn't do you any good on ice and you can't steer or stop any better than anybody else. I really don't care if people like that get in accidents or kill themselves but the sad part is that they usually take an innocent person with them.

-- Posted by Ventuno on Wed, Dec 17, 2008, at 10:26 AM

How very Christian of you to not care???

-- Posted by sassypants on Wed, Dec 17, 2008, at 1:43 PM

I agree with Ventuno as far as the way people drive. They think just because they have a 4 wheel drive vehicle they can drive like maniacs. They may be able to go faster than a 2 wheel drive vehicle, but they still can not brake any better on ice. People just need to use a little common sense.

-- Posted by th1953 on Wed, Dec 17, 2008, at 2:56 PM

People who have to travel to and from work should only be the ones on the roads unless an emergency arises. When law enforcement warns citizens to only travel if it is necessary, many crazy people seem to crave a Big Mac. The cravers are usually the crazy people who fly by you on ice, and pass when there are no other vehicles.

We should all respect the law enforcement, and do as they request.

-- Posted by busymomandstudent on Wed, Dec 17, 2008, at 10:26 PM

I was driving home to Terre Haute after spending a holiday get together at my dad's and I was very impressed with the majority of the drivers in Brazil. There are so many idiotic drivers out there and it was a relief to only see two while traveling through brazil :)

-- Posted by gingersnap13 on Thu, Dec 25, 2008, at 12:05 AM

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