News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 14, 2014

Driver hurt in U.S. 41 bus crash

Wrecks, slideoffs, shutdowns follow weather conditions

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Emergency responders were extremely busy Friday as multiple auto accidents took place on snow-covered roadways all over the Wabash Valley.

In southern Vigo County, U.S. 41 South near Indiana 246 was closed for almost two hours after a crash involving a Vigo County School Corp. bus and an SUV.

According to the Indiana State Police, preliminary investigation revealed a 2010 International school bus owned by the Vigo County School Corp. and driven by 37-year-old Terri D. Price of Terre Haute, was in the passing lane approaching a left turn onto Indiana 246.

A 2002 Hyundai SUV, driven by 18-year-old Pamela Thompson of Shelburn, was in the driving lane when it suddenly lost control and spun into the bus.

Price was transported to Terre Haute Regional Hospital for complaint of pain while Thompson was treated at the scene and released, police said.

The four students on the bus were examined at the scene, and were found not to have significant injuries, police said. The students were released under the supervision of Vigo County School Superintendent Danny Tanoos, according to a release.

The highway was closed in the south-bound lane from about 4:30 p.m. until 6:15 p.m. due to that crash.

Elsewhere, an Indiana State Police trooper’s vehicle was struck as it was parked with emergency lights activated to investigate a roll-over crash on Interstate 70 near the 19-mile marker. Trooper Hans Nowak’s vehicle was struck by a 2007 GMC SUV driven by Porchia Smith-Ford, 36, of Maryville, Ill., according to police. She lost control of her vehicle and it side-swiped the trooper’s vehicle, according to an ISP news release. No one was injured and Smith-Ford was cited for driving too fast to avoid a collision.

Police also reported a crash on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 near the five-mile marker and there were no injuries, they said.

Extreme trouble spots reported by the Indiana State Police were on I-70 from the 24- to 28-mile markers in Clay County and in Putnam County from the 40- to 48-mile markers. Several crashes or slide-offs took place in those areas.

Other trouble spots with multiple slide-offs were on U.S. 41 in Vigo and Sullivan counties and Indiana 63 in northern Vigo and Vermillion counties, according to state police.

There were no life-threatening injuries reported.

Indiana State Police report that the overwhelming cause of the crashes and slide-offs was driving too fast for conditions. The ISP urges drivers to slow down, use caution and not follow other vehicles too closely.