One crash on State Road 7 in northern Jennings County led to two more accidents during rush hour traffic Monday morning.
Two people were injured in the initial three-vehicle crash that closed both lanes of the highway for almost an hour.
The first accident occurred at 7:45 a.m., two miles south of the Bartholomew-Jennings County line at the intersection of Jennings County Road 900 North.
“It appears that a maroon Jeep Liberty was headed north, attempting to make a left-hand turn,” said Jennings County Deputy Tom Webster.
“It was struck from behind by a green, Chevy full-sized pickup.”
The impact shoved the Jeep Liberty into the southbound lane, where it was struck head-on by a black Scion. While the Scion veered off into a residential yard, the wreckage of the other two vehicles completely blocked the highway.
The driver of the Jeep Liberty, Amanda Goodwin, 23, of North Vernon, did not have any apparent injuries. However, the driver of the Scion, identified as Veronica Waggoner, 33, of Columbus, complained of back pain.
The driver of the pickup truck, Michael Wagaman, 19, of Country Squire Lakes, sustained visible facial injuries.
Both Wagaman and Waggoner were taken to Jennings St. Vincent Hospital in North Vernon. Condition reports are not available.
Webster said that speed on the part of Wagaman might have been a contributing factor, but it was too early in the investigation to say for sure.
Meanwhile, a northbound semi driver attempting to get around the backed-up traffic struck a utility pole on State Road 7 near the junction of County Road 700 West.
While the driver escaped injuries, the collision knocked down power lines and caused a brief power outage in the area.
Bartholomew County REMC estimates that 26 homes were left without electricity for roughly three hours on Monday.
The third accident took place at 8:45 a.m. as a flatbed semi was hauling off the wreckage of one of the
A driver who was pulling out of her driveway a quarter-mile south of the original crash site was struck by the semi. No one was hurt during the third accident, according to the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.