Local man seriously injured in fiery North Vernon accident

NORTH VERNON — A fiery collision on the north side of North Vernon left a Columbus man seriously injured Monday.

William Thompkins, 77, is listed in critical condition at St. Vincent’s main hospital in Indianapolis, hospital officials said.

Thompkins was taken to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital initially before being transferred to the Indianapolis facility, North Vernon police said.

Witnesses told police that Thompkins, who was driving a 2009 Ford Focus north on State Road 7, ran a red light at the intersection of the State Road 750 bypass, police said. The accident was reported at about 10:41 a.m. Monday.

Thompkins’ car became lodged under a trailer of a westbound 2013 Freightliner semi, and was dragged west of the intersection before truck driver Randy Perkinson, 53, of Vernon could stop his vehicle, police said.

Both vehicles caught fire after the accident and several people attempted to put out the fire with fire extinguishers, as well as water hoses from cement trucks, police said.

North Vernon firefighters were called to help at the scene, police said. Thompkins had to be extricated from his car before being taken to the emergency room by ambulance, police said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.