News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 24, 2006

I-70 accident stops traffic

A four-vehicle accident Friday afternoon on Interstate 70 in Clay County stopped traffic for more than three hours.

The mishap occurred about 3 p.m. just west of the U.S. 42 overpass.

Indiana State Police assisted the Clay County Sheriff’s Department by diverting eastbound traffic from I-70 to U.S. 46 in Terre Haute.

The accident happened when a vehicle driven by Austin Parten, 18, of Greenwood, approached stopped traffic in the eastbound lanes of I-70. Traffic was stopped because of an earlier accident in the westbound lane.

The earlier accident, which occurred a little after 2 p.m., resulted in no injuries.

According to a news release from Clay County Sheriff’s deputies, Parten was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control of his vehicle when he tried to stop. Parten’s vehicle skidded for several hundred feet before striking the rear of a vehicle driven by Sheila K. Wireman, 32, of Greencastle. Wireman’s car then struck the rear of a vehicle in front of her, driven by Russell Martin, 24, of Columbus. Martin’s vehicle became lodged under a semitrailer stopped in front of him.

Neither Parten, Martin nor the driver of the semi, whose name could not be ascertained at press time, were injured.

Wireman and one of her passengers, Delores K. Wireman, 55, also of Greencastle, were transported by Trans-Care ambulance to Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Another passenger, Olene Nieves, 37, was transported by Air E-Vac Helicopter to the IU-Wishard trauma center in Indianapolis where she was treated for head injuries, according to sheriff’s deputies.

Officials at Wishard said Nieves was in good condition late Friday.

Assisting agencies included the Posey and Jackson Volunteer Fire Department Search and Rescue and Indiana State Police.

Sheriff’s deputies were investigating the accident late Friday. Deputy Josh Clarke said charges may follow.

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