A Parke County man was airlifted to Methodist Hospital this afternoon after he crashed his semitrailer on U.S. 41 just north of Lyford.
James “Dennis” Griffin, 66, of Mecca had to be extricated from the overturned semi he had been driving. His condition was not immediately known late this afternoon.
The accident, which happened around 11:45 a.m., closed U.S. 41 north of Indiana 163 for at least four hours.
According to Sgt. Jason Frazier of the Parke County Sheriff’s Department, Adams Township Rescue and Lyford first responders were quickly on the scene, but extrication could not start until Duke Energy arrived to shut down power to a pole that landed on the semi.
Extrication took about 2 1/2 hours.
Griffin was traveling north on U.S. 41 through the Lyford “Y” intersection when for unknown reasons, he was traveling too fast, his semi crossed over into the southbound lane and the semi hit a utility pole before turning over on its side, Sgt. Frazier said at the scene.
“They couldn’t start extrication until we were certain power lines were off,” Frazier said. He estimated Duke was on the scene within about 10 minutes of the initial call.
Griffin was conscious during extrication and was loaded into an ambulance at 2:30 p.m. and taken to Union Hospital Clinton, where he was then airlifted to Methodist.
Extrication also was delayed because Griffin’s legs were pinned behind the engine, Frazier said.
Indiana 163 at the “Y” remained opened so motorists could travel to Clinton or south on U.S 41, but U.S. 41 North at the “Y” remained closed as of 3:45 p.m.
The Parke County EMS, Indiana State Police, Otter Creek Fire Department Command Post Rehab, Clinton Fire Department and other agencies also responded to the accident.