ANDERSON — A local woman was struck by a tractor-trailer in a southbound lane of Interstate 69 in an apparent suicide attempt Tuesday, according to Anderson police.
Anderson Police Patrolman Scott Calhoun said the woman, 38-year-old Melinda K. Pierce of Anderson, was struck by a tractor-trailer near the 21 mile-marker in the right lane of southbound I-69 just before noon Tuesday.
Pierce’s 39th birthday is Wednesday.
“Witnesses made statements to me that when they were comforting her, they put blankets on her and things, she had made statements that she’d intentionally ran in front of the truck to try and kill herself,” Calhoun said Tuesday.
The driver of the Heartland Express tractor-trailer from Iowa that struck Pierce has been identified as James D. Padgett, 46, of Sullivan, Illinois. He was not available for comment Tuesday.
Calhoun said Padgett had slowed the truck to about 55 miles per hour just before the accident as he tried to merge into the left lane.
Pierce was taken to Saint John’s Health Center in Anderson immediately following the accident and was later transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with non-life threatening injuries, Calhoun said.
She suffered a broken pelvis, left leg and left forearm along with a cut to the forehead, he said.
When police arrived, they found Pierce’s vehicle parked along the shoulder. The engine of her maroon Dodge Grand Caravan minivan was running and the hood was propped open.
A child safety seat was secured in the front passenger’s seat of the minivan, but no one else was in the van at the time of the incident, Calhoun said.
He said Pierce’s family was notified but gave no indication why Pierce may have attempted suicide.
Calhoun said he’s responded to a few suicide attempts along Interstate 69. “It’s probably the third or fourth one we’ve had out there over the years,” he said.
Police did not ticket the driver of the tractor-trailer, and said Padgett was extremely upset at the scene.
The near fatal incident caused a traffic jam that stretched for several miles.
The Herald Bulletin was unable to reach Pierce or her family for comment Tuesday.
Contact Brandi Watters 640-4847, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Breaking News
Gettysburg wax museum selling historical figures
A life-sized animatronic Abe Lincoln is among the historical figures and tableau scenes from a Gettysburg wax museum set to hit the auction block just months after the town celebrated the 150th anniversary of his "Gettysburg Address."
Behind jet's passenger list is rich human tapestry
Numbered 1 to 227, the passenger manifest for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is an outwardly unremarkable document.
Dozens injured as school stage falls in California
A stage at a Southern California high school collapsed during a performance, sending 25 students to the hospital with mainly minor injuries, authorities said.
US relay team sets indoor world record for title
Perhaps people know Calvin Smith Jr, and even then likely because his father was a famous runner a generation back. And David Verburg ran on the 4x400 world outdoor gold medal team last year. But Kyle Clemons? Kind Butler III?
Bill would let Paul run for two offices at same time
Rand Paul's biggest political decision is approaching: whether to run for president in 2016 or focus solely on re-election to his U.S. Senate seat. A Republican lawmaker from his home state wants to free him from the potential dilemma by letting him run for both.
Air force chief: Malaysia jet may have turned back
Military radar indicates that the missing Boeing 777 jet may have turned back before vanishing, Malaysia's air force chief said Sunday as authorities were investigating up to four passengers with suspicious identifications.
- Search resumes for missing Malaysian jetliner
Bigger pig pens create challenges for farmers
The big pens and electronic feeding systems at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana could be the future of the pork industry as consumers pressure farmers to move pregnant pigs out of individual stalls too narrow for the animals to turn around.
Skydiver, pilot treated after midair accident
A plane became entangled in the strings of a skydiver's parachute, sending both crashing into the ground near Tampa, Fla., with both the pilot and jumper hospitalized with minor injuries.
Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared
The disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jet well into its flight Saturday morning over the South China Sea has led aviation experts to assume that whatever happened was quick and left the pilots no time to place a distress call.
- More Breaking News Headlines
- Gettysburg wax museum selling historical figures