SUV falls from overpass onto I-65

Staff Reportss

CROTHERSVILLE — An Austin man was critically injured when he lost control of his vehicle shortly after noon Saturday on an icy road, crashed through an overpass guardrail and fell onto Interstate 65 in Jackson County, police said.

A 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Richard T. Coulter, 37, of Austin, was traveling westbound on County Road 600 South on an overpass over I-65 in Crothersville, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer with the Indiana State Police Versailles post.

The initial investigation by State Police Sgt. Brian Wilson indicated that Coulter’s vehicle broke through the metal guardrail on the south side of the road and fell into the northbound lanes of I-65 at the 37.5-mile marker, Wheeles said.

Coulter’s vehicle struck a 2014 Toyota SUV, driven by Charles G. Jahnke, 56, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, that was northbound on I-65, Wheeles said.

Coulter’s vehicle came to rest on its driver’s side in the middle of the northbound lanes of I-65, while Jahnke’s vehicle came to rest on the shoulder of I-65, he said.

Coulter, trapped inside the vehicle, had to be extricated by the Vernon Township Fire Department, Wheeles said. Coulter was transported to an Indianapolis area hospital with critical injuries, although Jahnke was not injured in the crash, Wheeles said.

The roadway surface condition, which was icy at the time, is believed to be a factor in the crash. The crash remains under investigation, Wheeles said. Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be factors in the crash.

The northbound lanes of I-65 were shut down for nearly two hours for crash investigation and cleanup, Wheeles said.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Crothersville Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Jackson County EMS, Vernon Township Fire Department and the Indiana Department of Transportation.