TERRE HAUTE —
The condition of former Terre Haute Mayor Judy Anderson has been upgraded to good at an Indianapolis hospital.
Anderson sustained multiple injuries in a 5 p.m. Sunday crash that resulted in the death of her husband, Brent, who was driving the couple’s Lincoln Town Car. She was airlifted to Methodist Hospital for treatment.
Investigators remain unsure what caused the single-vehicle accident on U.S. 40 at the Putnam County town of Reelsville. Police report that no skid marks or brake marks were found on or along U.S. 40 where Anderson’s westbound car drove off the four-lane highway and struck a tree head-on.
Chief Deputy Tom Helmer of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department reports that investigators did find a rust mark on the inside of the driver’s front door, and they believe that mark may have come from a makeshift cargo trailer that was struck by the car before the vehicle hit the tree. Helmer said it appears the parked trailer caused damage to the driver’s side and roof of the car beyond the damage that occurred when the car struck the tree.
Both Judy Anderson, who was a front-seat passenger, and her husband were wearing seatbelts, Helmer said.
An autopsy on the body of Brent Anderson is scheduled for late this afternoon in Vigo County by forensic pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr.
Judy Anderson held several positions in local government before being elected mayor of Terre Haute in 1999. She won the Democratic Party primary that year, defeating the incumbent mayor and easily winning election in the fall. Anderson was the first woman elected mayor of Terre Haute, serving one term, 2000 to 2004.
Brent Anderson taught in Vigo County schools and was a former athletic coach at area schools. He was inducted into the Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
Anderson was a graduate of Schulte High School and Indiana State University. He coached at Fort Wayne Central Catholic for several years before coaching at Clinton/South Vermillion High School from 1972 through 1984, according to Tribune-Star archives. He was the first South Vermillion football coach.
After retiring as a head coach, he taught and coached at Sarah Scott Middle School in Terre Haute.
During her term as mayor, Judy Anderson said that her husband was very supportive of her in her governmental duties.
In an interview with the Tribune-Star in March 2002, midway in her administration, she said: “I’m very, very fortunate to have Brent as a spouse and a partner, because we enjoy the same activities, we enjoy them together. We like the same things. We like the same food. He comes to City Council meetings. ...
“He’s going to be retiring next year, so he’ll be totally free to do all these things. He enjoys it. And the deal was that when he was the head football coach, you know, I took all four of our kids and went to every football game and gave 100 percent support. Now our lives have turned around and he’s doing exactly the same thing,” she said.