2018 fatal crashes fewer than average

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

Two people lost their lives on Dubois County roadways in 2018, down from six deaths in 2017.

Only three times in the previous 30 years has the number of fatal crashes dropped that low: 2010, 1994 and 1991.

Dubois County had an average of 5.7 roadway deaths per year over the last 20 years. The most deadly year in that span was 2004, when 11 motorists lost their lives.

Both of last year’s fatalities occurred on highways and both victims were male.

The year’s first fatality was reported at 6:57 a.m. Tuesday, July 31. A 29-year-old Paoli man died when the car he was driving collided with an SUV on State Road 56 near County Road 750E in the Crystal area. A woman driving the SUV suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The other fatality occurred at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2.5 miles west of Huntingburg near the Holland Junction.

An 87-year-old Velpen man was dead at the scene on State Road 64 near County Road 650W.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department said the man was eastbound on the highway in a 2008 Chevrolet Impala at the time of the crash that left two females in another car with minor injuries.

Police said the car in front of the victim stopped to turn left onto County Road 650W and, while that driver was waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, her car was rear-ended by the victim’s Chevrolet.

Police said the victim did not brake prior to the collision. The women in the other car were treated and released.

Authorities initially did not know if the man was suffering from some type of medical event that caused his death or if he was deceased from injuries from the collision. It was later determined the death of the man, who was not wearing a seat belt, was caused by the crash, according to police.

The local roadway death toll did not include one crash in which the cause of a victim’s eventual death was attributed to a medical condition and not injuries sustained in the collision.

That incident was a rollover that occurred Wednesday, Dec. 5, along Old Huntingburg Road.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched at 8:23 a.m. to the single-vehicle rollover crash on Old Huntingburg Road south of County Road 150S.

Upon arrival, deputies observed a pickup truck on its top.

The sheriff’s department says it appears the truck rolled several times after going off the east side of the roadway.

The driver, a 38-year-old Oakland City man, was unresponsive upon arrival, according to deputies. CPR was administered at the scene.

Authorities were able to transport the victim to Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center before he was airlifted to Evansville. He died Dec. 14 at Deaconess Midtown Hospital.

Also not tallied in the local fatal crash total were a couple of accidents that occurred near Dubois County in July.

On July 17, a 41-year-old Lamar man was killed and a Celestine man was injured when they were involved in a head-on collision on State Road 37 in Crawford County.

The crash occurred near the highway’s intersection with Governors Trace Road. The driver from Lamar who was pronounced dead at the scene was driving a pickup truck. The Celestine man, who was treated and released, was driving a dump truck.

Then, on July 26, a 59-year-old Newburgh woman was killed in a crash near Dale.

The victim was eastbound in an SUV on State Road 68/62 just west of Dale at the time of the 3 a.m. accident at U.S. 231. The SUV collided with a southbound semi, according to police.




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