Two Bartholomew County men injured in a chain-reaction wreck Thursday involving four pickups at a construction zone on U.S. 50 west of Brownstown were flown to regional hospitals.
The wreck that left Rick Walker, 52, of Columbus, hospitalized with head and leg injuries at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis occurred near the west end of the bridge over the East Fork White River, according to a report from Jackson County Officer Jeff Walters.
Walker was flown by StatFlight from a temporary landing zone set up on U.S. 50 west of the bridge, which is about two miles west of Brownstown.
A passenger in Walker’s 1994 Chevrolet S-10, Chester Sidwell, 63, of Columbus, also sustained head and chest injuries and was taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour. He then was flown to University of Louisville Hospital for additional treatment, Walters reported.
Both Sidwell and Walker were in and out of consciousness at the scene and able to respond to questions at times before they were taken away, Walters said.
Walters said emergency workers responding to the scene, including Brownstown firefighters and Jackson County Emergency Medical Services personnel, had to free Walker from his pickup before he could be flown to Indianapolis.
The wreck began as Walker was traveling east on U.S. 50 and came upon slowed or stopped traffic for the construction, Walters said.
Walker was unable to stop for that traffic, and his vehicle rear-ended a 1998 Ford F-150 driven by Troy Carroll of Brownstown.
Carroll lost control of his vehicle, causing it to hit the rear of a 1988 GMC truck driven by Gregory Lucas, 56, of Vallonia. Lucas’ vehicle then ran into the rear of a 1997 Ford F-150 driven by Alan Dalton, 66, of Bedford. Neither Lucas nor Dalton reported any injuries at the scene.
A passenger in Carroll’s pickup, Sarah Cravens, 26, of Medora, complained of neck pain and was taken by a family member to Schneck Medical Center for treatment.
After the initial impact, Walker’s truck traveled 150 feet before coming to a stop, Walters said.
County Officer Rob Henley assisted with the investigation, while Dave’s Body Shop towed the vehicles.
The cause of the wreck remains under investigation, Walters said Friday.
RAM Construction is in the process of applying 3/8-inch polymeric deck overlays at four U.S. 50 bridges west of Brownstown. The company has a $579,156 contract for the Indiana Department of Transportation Seymour District project.