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Area officer injured in accident

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A local on-duty police officer sustained head and chest injuries during a two-vehicle accident Thursday.

According to a press release by Indiana State Police, around 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Clay County Sheriff's Deputy, Assistant Jail Commander and Carbon Town Marshal Ron Keen was approaching County Road 300 East while traveling westbound on United States 40 when Franklin D. Sullivan, 76, Terre Haute, drove into the path of the Clay County Sheriff's Department SUV.

Keen, 58, Carbon, then struck Sullivan's vehicle in the passenger side, totaling both vehicles.

As per CCSD protocols and to maintain the integrity of any accident investigation involving a police officer, ISP Troopers Robert Decker -- with the assistance of troopers Kris Fitzgerald and Bill Bradbury -- responded to the scene and performed the investigation.

Members of the Van Buren Township Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.

Keen, who was allegedly not using a seatbelt, was transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital by TransCare for treatment of head and chest injuries. Once stabilized, Keen was later transported to Wishard Hospital of Indianapolis by AirEvac Lifeteam. Sullivan, who was using a seatbelt, refused treatment at the scene.

Sullivan was cited for Failure to Yield Right of Way.

Officials confirmed to The Brazil Times late Thursday that Keen was in good condition, but could potentially remain hospitalized at least overnight for observation.

Meanwhile, a vehicle on a car-hauler caught fire at the 22-mile marker of Interstate-70 and backed up traffic for more than four miles as members of ISP, Jackson and Posey Township volunteer fire departments and Clay County Search and Rescue responded to the scene. No injuries were reported.

CLARIFICATION: Although initial reports indicated differently, officials confirmed Friday, July 31, that Keen was airlifted to Wishard Hospital by Air Evac Lifeteam.

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Is Keen a Deputy or a Reserve Deputy? I know it doesnt matter and I am not asking for any other reason than refreshing my own memory. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

-- Posted by opininated on Thu, Jul 30, 2009, at 5:46 PM

well officer Keen that will cost you $25! Thank God for watching over you!

-- Posted by momof2brightones on Thu, Jul 30, 2009, at 5:47 PM

So this officer was currently on duty not wearing a seatbelt driving a county owned vehicle. Will he be using county money to now pay for his medical bills?

-- Posted by pepper1 on Thu, Jul 30, 2009, at 10:06 PM

Typical--a person is injured and hospitalized after an accident that wasn't their fault and small brained organisms (people is too good a term) like freedom1 and momof2brightones can't wait to come on and make moronic comments. If you bright flames would bother reading, it said that it's alleged that he wasn't wearing a seat belt--Keen, who is in more serious condition than this article reflects, reported that he was wearing his belt and the medical personnel who treated him also said that there was evidence that he was wearing his restraint. I know facts and common decency won't get in the way of idiotic comments from some who find it thrilling to malign good people. Even if he wasn't wearing his restraint, I don't understand why anybody would come on here to do anything other than wish him the best. Are some people so desperate to find fault with the police in the community that they will grasp at any straw, even one so minor as a class "d" infraction? Pathetic.

I wish good health and God speed to Ron Keen.

-- Posted by snow on Thu, Jul 30, 2009, at 10:27 PM

pepper1- typically the insurance company for the person at fault in an accident is responsible for the medical bills of injured persons; that's one of the reasons why people are required to have insurance on their vehicles. In this case, Mr. Sullivan was given a ticket for failure to yield right of way which puts him squarely at fault for causing this accident. You are probably already aware of how this works, but it's more fun to add fuel to the fire, isn't it.

-- Posted by snow on Thu, Jul 30, 2009, at 10:46 PM


I'm obviously brighter than you and I know far more, but that's not the point here. I too saw the vehicle; I also saw Keen and spoke with him and the emergency responders. There was no hole in the windshield--the glass was pushed out, but not broken out, there was no opening. So, you assumed that a protrusion was a hole and that the "hole" was proof that he wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Maybe it is proof and maybe it isn't. Obviously a person of your intellect picks up one piece of the puzzle up and decides he knows what the entire picture is.

Restraints can fail either partially or completely and allow a belted person to be injured. The medics that treated Keen believe he was belted due to the various injuries that he did and didn't have. He did have an injury on his hand that had glass in it--this was the only bleeding injury he had and was likely caused when his hand was slammed into the windshield as the airbag inflated.

Even if he wasn't wearing a seatbelt, he wasn't at fault in the crash. The idiocy of your statement -- "great example Officer I mean "Officer" Keen"--and your eagerness to believe something bad about an officer and totally dismiss the other driver's fault is what I take issue with. Keen was the victim of another driver's carelessness, yet you and others comment on this story as if he were the one who caused this accident. People who have no stature, skill, ability, or bravery have to make themselves feel important by criticizing those who do.

-- Posted by snow on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 12:35 AM

I pray for Mr. Keen, he is a great guy. According to Indiana protocol, Officers are not required to wear seat belts, however, I'm not sure what their department protocol is.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 1:22 AM

Mr. Snow, I agree with you 110%.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 2:27 AM

I am praying for Ron. He is a wonderful person. I don't know whether he was wearing his belt or not and to be honest I don't care. It's very rude of people to get on here and assume he was not wearing his seatbelt and make negative comments. The man is in the hospital maybe instead of being jerks you should send up your prayers instead!

-- Posted by dmh15 on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 5:32 AM

isnt there enough bad stuff going on in clay county that we dont need to attact each other,ron keen is a town marshall he has the same rights as a deputy.we all need to pray for him

-- Posted by tink1926 on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 8:09 AM

My prayers are with both parties. By the news article, it does appear that Mr. Sullivan did not yield which obviously would result in a ticket. Here is my pet peeve: What makes an officer more durable than you or I? Was the officer ticketed for not wearing a seatbeat? How fast was this officer traveling? Was this officer traveling in the "fast lane"? Any person of law enforcement should have to abide by the same rules. If you or I were speeding, we could get a ticket. If you or I were traveling in the "fast lane" for no apparent reason, we could get a ticket. I am not saying this makes everything right by pulling out in front of him, but what laws are good for the goose are good for gander.

-- Posted by preciousme on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 9:43 AM

Amazing, simply amazing!

I wear my seatbelt 100% of the time BUT the safety catch that restricts the forward movement of the shoulder belt is broken. If I had to make an educated guess....some of you probably have the same thing wrong with your vehicle's seat belt. Now, in light of that, maybe, just maybe the catch was not working on Deputy Keen's either. Did you ever think of that? No, probably not. If the rescue and ambulance crews both say he was wearing his restraint, typical with the type of injuries he did and didn't have, then I for one believe them since I belong to the EMS family.

Best wishes to Deputy Keen and his family. Please try to ignore the ramblings of people with nothing to do but criticize folks.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 9:56 AM

Evidently a few people skipped right over the comment that said police officers are exempt from wearing seat belts. It may not be right, but it is the truth. All emergency vehicles are exempt. Police, fire and ambulance. Even mail trucks and I think possibly taxi cabs are exempt. Don't know if that was intentional or just skipped over like seatbelts in trucks were for years, but for now that is the way it is. As far as the "fast lane", no such thing in Indiana. There is a passing lane, but no law against driving in it; and trust me that is one of my pet peeves, but not illegal in Indiana. So although Mr. Keen may not have been using his best discretion, he did not break he law. Maybe CCSD has department regulations but all the comments are mute as far as him breaking the law.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 10:41 AM

Excellent comments "Icareaboutbrazil". Thank you.

Although you speak the truth that will not shut the critics up unfortunatetly for us that know better.

Have a great day.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 11:44 AM

If Ron drives anything like Jimmy, guess we're just lucky it was Ron that got hurt. Where's an update on the incident that Jimmy was in when he hit a man mowing his grass on the corner of W. Compton and N. Sherman St. a couple of weeks ago.

-- Posted by houseofhate on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 12:57 PM

It is so unfortunate about what happened to Officer Ron Keen and to anyone else who this could happen to

BUT that Hwy 40 (from the Dairy Queen to State

Road 46 is nothing but a racetrack

I travel Hwy 40 everyday and people are passing me at 70 mph in 45 and 55 mph zones

Very rarely do you see anyone pulled over by an Officer. Try doing that speed pass the Great Dane Plant - towards Greencastle

I wonder why the State Police do not patrol the area between Dairy Queen and State Road 46 like they do everywhere else

As many accidents as we have on Hwy 40 you would think people would slow down

-- Posted by 1dogbob on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 1:17 PM

to 1dogbob, you are going the wrong way! it is out past Great Dane!

-- Posted by momof2brightones on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 2:42 PM

I would like to respectfully correct an error in this article. This gentleman was airlifted from St. Vincent Clay County Hospital to Wishard Hosptial by your local air ambulance provider, AIR EVAC LIFETEAM, which has been based as the Clay County Airport since April, 2004, not LifeLine helicopter as noted in the article.

-- Posted by Nicole on Fri, Jul 31, 2009, at 5:40 PM

Boy oh Boy isn't karma something Mr. Town Marshal! Looks like someone will be taking a break from fighting crime in Carbon.

-- Posted by Karma2 on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 1:00 AM

Wow, there seems to be alot of drama about this officer. It really seems there is a love and a hate situation. As I read there seems to be more dislike for this injured officer of the law and with the exception of (snow), it seems as if this guy is really an (ash) or he has written alot of meaningful tickets, so someone inform me, (snow), as from the reading you seem to be the one to know, which is it, alot of deserving tickets that have been written or is Officer Keen an as(s).

-- Posted by Nosredna Retep on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 8:31 AM

Keen is a very nice guy! Nothing but good things to say about him. I can't believe this story has attracted such ridiculous comments. Hope your feeling better Keen!

-- Posted by dmh15 on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 11:46 AM

Regardless if Mr. Town Marshal is a nice guy or not, he is guilty of excessive abuse of his law enforcement privileges and needs to realize that. Let's see how brave Mr. Town Marshal would be without his badge. On a lighter note, I hear that Mr. Town Marshal was released from the hospital the next day just in time to make his rounds!

-- Posted by Karma2 on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 3:38 PM

Karma2 do not threaten officers on a public forum even if you don't like them. You may not like what comes from it.

-- Posted by RickS on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 4:43 PM

You tell 'em RickS ~ some people aren't real bright when it comes to comments, are they ~

Best Wishes AJC Keen ~ God's speed to you in your recovery ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 7:27 PM

It's called a right to free speech, but people that get butt hurt about comments turn it into something that it's not unless you are face to face with a situation. Stop drinking your hater aide and un puff your chest because the sun will rise and fall with Mr. Town Marshal safe and sound.

-- Posted by Karma2 on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 9:43 PM

Freedom1 did you have to pay the ticket? i didnt know they could do that.

-- Posted by nobob on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 9:50 PM

Freedom1 did you have to pay the ticket? i didnt know they could do that.

-- Posted by nobob on Sat, Aug 1, 2009, at 9:51 PM

Citizens can make any true comment about cops, true, they are only people look at the former Brazil chief they finally terminated, proof of theft and doesn't get prosecuted, bet that wouldn't be the case if I were the guilty one.Cops are not above the law, just a priveleged few.

-- Posted by Ombudsman on Sun, Aug 2, 2009, at 8:31 AM

Let's please keep both men in our prayers. Mr. Sullivan was checked out by the paramedics at the scene, and was cleared to go home, but did not come out of this unscathed. Mr. Sullivan had looked for traffic and saw none, he then proceeded to pull out when Mr. Keen hit him. Mr. Keen had to have been driving pretty fast to total both vehicles.

-- Posted by kitkat20 on Sun, Aug 2, 2009, at 2:01 PM

Just a note to all concerned. I saw Mr. Keen at a local restaurant Saturday and he appeared to be fine.

-- Posted by opininated on Sun, Aug 2, 2009, at 10:51 PM

Stop ranting and raving at each other and just be glad those two people lived through that accident

As of now whether they were wearing a seatbelt or not is not the issue anymore

Maybe after this (lucky to be alive accident)they will think twice about wearing one

-- Posted by 1dogbob on Tue, Aug 4, 2009, at 2:13 PM

I notice that the story doesn't include the fact that Keen initially tried refusing treatment.

Why is that?

-- Posted by shadowrunner940 on Sat, Aug 8, 2009, at 12:43 PM

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