By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
ALEXANDRIA, Ind. —
Investigators believe nobody was wearing seat belts in one of the vehicles involved in Friday night’s two-vehicle head-on collision.
Haley Brown, 17, of Alexandria, the driver of a 1998 Oldsmobile minivan, became distracted at some point while driving east on County Road 1100 North west of County Road 100 East, and the vehicle ran off the edge of the roadway, said Madison County Sheriff Ron Richardson.
Brown over-corrected and the van crossed the center line and smashed into a westbound 1995 Jeep Cherokee driven by April McClead, 36, of rural Alexandria, Richardson said.
Brown was trapped in the van and had to be extricated by emergency personnel. She was flown from the scene by a PHI medical helicopter to St. Vincent’s Hospital Indianapolis. Brown suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs, internal injuries and lower extremity injuries, Richardson said.
Investigators believe neither Brown nor passengers Anna M. Hendrickson, 24, and Gloria D. James, 16, both of Alexandria, were wearing seat belts when the wreck occurred. Hendrickson suffered bruises, a broken nose and a broken wrist. James received some bruises and contusions.
“We’ve seen over time that seat belts have lessened injuries, and they’re there to help,” Richardson said. “But you have to use them.”
McClead suffered injuries to her right ankle and cuts and bruises. The two passengers in the Jeep, Meadow Kerrigan, 11, and Ronnie Utterback, 49, both of Alexandria, each received torso injuries. The five injured besides Brown were transported by ambulance to Community Hospital and St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital.
Alexandria Medics, Fire and Police, Summitville Fire and EMS, Richland Township EMS and Madison County Emergency Management all assisted at the scene, Richardson said.
“The accident remains under investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Departments Accident Investigation Team,” he added.
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