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Crash injures pair, damages business


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A North Vernon couple suffered injuries, and a business was damaged during a crash on State Road 7.

The Jennings County dispatch center received a 911 call about 10:50 a.m. Friday reporting that a vehicle had struck Watts Electric, 5100 State Road 7 North, and two individuals were trapped in the vehicle, Indiana State Trooper Randel Miller said in a news release.

The investigation revealed that a 1989 Ford Econoline van driven by Donald Cooley, 55, was northbound on State Road 7 when the van went out of control after failing to negotiate a curve.  The van struck a culvert and went airborne, landing in a parking lot where it struck a 2011 Jeep Wrangler, then crashed into the business.

Cooley and his wife, Teresa Cooley, 49, were trapped inside the van, the news release said.

Emergency personnel freed the couple after pulling the van out of the debris. Donald Cooley, who was wearing a seat belt, was transported to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon with chest and back injuries. Teresa Cooley was unrestrained and sustained possible internal injuries and was airlifted to University Hospital in Louisville, Ky., the release said.

Watts Electric suffered damage estimated in excess of $50,000 as a result of the crash, Miller said in the release.

The crash remains under investigation.

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