Although the Indiana State Police accident report is expected to be completed within a few days, the Clay County Sheriff's Department confirmed it would also be investigating a two-vehicle accident that injured a law enforcement officer Thursday.
On Friday, Sheriff Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times the separate internal investigation would be to determine "whether or not department protocols had been violated."
Around 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Clay County Justice Center Assistant Jail Commander Ron Keen struck a vehicle driven by Franklin D. Sullivan, 76, Terre Haute. Sullivan failed to yield the right of way and drove into the path of the Clay County Sheriff's Department SUV near the intersection of County Road 300 East and United States 40.
As per CCSD protocols and to maintain the integrity of any accident investigation involving a police officer, Indiana State Police performed the accident investigation.
An ISP press release about the accident investigation stated preliminary results determined Keen, who is also Carbon Town Marshal, was allegedly not wearing a seatbelt and there was no mention if the officer would be cited for a violation of state statute.
The core of the CCSD internal investigation will be to determine if Keen was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
"Ron (Keen) is the Assistant Jail Commander, and as such, he's bound by the same policies as all officers of the department," Heaton said about the protocols set forth in the county employee handbook. "The handbook was adopted by the Clay County Commissioners and all county employees are bound by those rules. If it is determined he wasn't wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, unfortunately disciplinary action will be taken."
According to officials, the potential disciplinary action for this type of violation is suspension of up to three days.
With Keen released from Wishard Hospital, Indianapolis, Friday, Heaton said investigators would be able to get more information about the accident.
"There's a lot of information to collect before we know what all happened," Heaton said. "We should know more within a few days."
Latest on condition
Injured during a two-vehicle accident and airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital Thursday, officials confirm a local law enforcement officer is on the mend.
According to Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton, Clay County Justice Center Assistant Jail Commander Ron Keen was released from Wishard Hospital sometime Friday.
While returning from a jail program meeting in Putnam County Thursday afternoon, Keen suffered head, chest and a hand injury during a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of County Road 300 East and United States 40. The T-bone collision occurred when a Terre Haute man traveling northbound on CR 300 E drove across the highway and into Keen's path.
Although injured, Keen was able to report the accident to 911-dispatchers.
The driver of the other vehicle refused treatment at the scene, but was cited for failure to yield right of way.