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Driver airlifted after crash


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A Wednesday morning crash that resulted in a Columbus man being airlifted from the scene by LifeLine helicopter also shut down a major intersection for almost an hour in southern Bartholomew County, police said.

Several employees at Walesboro area manufacturers were delayed getting to work after the 7:35 a.m. collision caused a 45-minute closure of State Road 11 at County Road 450S, said Maj. Todd Noblitt, chief deputy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

One of the drivers — Brandon C. Duncan, 19, of 1626 Union St., Columbus — was flown directly to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Noblitt said.

Investigators believe Duncan may have suffered a medical problem before the crash, Noblitt said.

A witness who was driving behind his 1996 Chevrolet Blazer told investigators Duncan’s northbound SUV was weaving at a slow speed from one lane of State Road 11 to another for up to a mile before the collision, Noblitt said. While drug and alcohol use is not suspected at this time, the case remains under investigation, he added.

The driver of the other vehicle, identified as Brandon M. Simmons, 32, of Seymour, was westbound on County Road 450S, Noblitt said. After bringing his 2013 Toyota Tacoma to a halt at the four-way stop, Simmons attempted to cross State Road 11, Noblitt said.

Simmons told authorities he heard the sound of a vehicle accelerating just before Duncan’s SUV entered the intersection without stopping, smashing into Simmons’ pickup truck, Noblitt said.

While Simmons was being treated at the scene for minor injuries, first-responders shut down the highway in order for the helicopter to land on State Road 11, Noblitt said. It took emergency medical technicians several minutes to remove Duncan from the wreckage and stabilize him before he could be flown to Indianapolis, Noblitt said.

Duncan was treated at Methodist on Wednesday and released, hospital spokeswoman Lori Ewoldt said.

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