Crash involving 2 semis, 2 cars closes highway

Photos by Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Truck driver Jonathan Shealey of Evansville rested against his cab after being involved in an accident on U.S. 231 just north of I-64 that involved another semi and two cars.

By BILL POWELL
Herald Staff Writer

HUNTINGBURG — A semi-tractor trailer traveling left of center caused a four-vehicle crash on U.S. 231 north of I-64 early Thursday afternoon. Four people were injured, one of them seriously.

State police report that an International semi driven by Jonathan Shealey, 37, of Evansville was traveling north on U.S. 231 approximately one-half mile from the interstate at 12:54 p.m. when it went left of center and sideswiped a southbound tractor trailer driven by Knox A. Whitt, 21, of Attalla, Ala. Whitt had attempted to leave the roadway to avoid colliding with Shealey’s truck. After the mirrors of the two semi cabs collided, Shealey’s truck struck the rear axle on Whitt’s trailer which came to rest off the roadway.

Whitt suffered a minor head injury and was taken to Memorial Hospital in Jasper for treatment, police said.

Passerby Marisah Blake of Mariah Hill, 13, held a dog that was pulled from one of the cars involved in the accident Thursday. The owners of the dog were transported to Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in the accident.

A Volkswagen Jetta driven by Dionne Jo Hanselman, 41, of Mariah Hill was traveling south behind the Whitt truck when she saw the oncoming truck drift left of center. She drove off the road to avoid hitting the truck, through a ditch and struck a utility pole head on. She was not injured, according to authorities.

After hitting the Whitt truck, Shealey continued north still left of center and struck an Oldsmobile Alero head on. The Olds was driven by Tiffany M. Vogler, 21, of Dupo, Ill., who was headed south behind Hanselman. The impact of the collision pushed Vogler northbound, spinning her car so that it came to rest facing north. She had to be extricated from the car by the St. Henry Volunteer Fire Department, because of the severity of the damage to the car.

Vogler, her front-seat passenger, Thomas Vogler Jr., 20, of Dupo, Ill., and back-seat passenger, Thomas Vogler Sr., 48, of Tilden Ill., all suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to Memorial Hospital, state police said.

A spokeswoman at Memorial Hospital said Tiffany Vogler and Thomas Vogler Jr. were treated and released. She said Thomas Vogler Sr. was transferred to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville. A family member said Mr. Vogler, who had facial trauma and possibly a broken back, was then transferred to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

The family spokeswoman said the Voglers were on their way to visit family in Kentucky at the time of the accident.

The Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division is investigating the wreck. Police said charges against Shealey are pending.

The accident forced the closure of U.S. 231 for more than two hours.

State police were assisted by the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, St. Henry Volunteer Fire Department, and Memorial Hospital EMS.

Contact Bill Powell at bpowell@dcherald.com.