For The Record: 6/28


SANTA CLAUS — Three people were injured and one of them arrested following a single-vehicle crash south of Santa Claus early Sunday morning.

Seth J. Johannemann, 26, Mariah Hill, was northbound on State Road 245 in a 2013 Ford Fusion when the 2:20 a.m. CDT accident occurred 1,100 feet south of Spencer County Road 1450N, according to the Spencer County Sheriff’s Department.

Police said the Ford crested a steep hill at an unsafe speed, went airborne and scraped the road twice with its undercarriage when it came back down. Johannemann lost control of the car, which went off the right side of the highway and into a ditch, where it contacted a culvert and an earthen embankment covering it. The car went up the embankment, became airborne again and traveled another 75 feet before it came down on another embankment and rolled twice before stopping on its wheels.

A deputy reported the total distance from the first scrape by the undercarriage to the point where the car stopped was 390 feet.

Crash records indicate none of the occupants was belted but all six of the car’s airbags deployed.

Police said Johannemann was ejected and sustained a bruise to his head but declined to be transported by ambulance.

Passengers Kari L. Weatherholt, 25, of Rockport, and Stuart E. Schweigert, 32, of Lafayette, were both reported to have sustained head injuries, according to a police crash report. Weatherholt was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to St. Mary’s Medical Center. No further information on the passengers’ conditions was available this morning.

Police alleged Johannemann’s blood alcohol content tested .15 percent. He was arrested and charged with a Class D felony count of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and a misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated with a BAC of .15 percent or higher. A preliminary plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf Tuesday during an initial court appearance in Spencer Circuit Court. A court spokeswoman said he posted bond and his next court appearance was scheduled for Aug. 13. His numeric street address in Mariah Hill was not available from the sheriff’s department.

Total damage was listed as exceeding $25,000. Police records indicated the car, registered to Hertz Vehicles LLC, Louisville, had been rented by Schweigert.

The St. Meinrad Volunteer Fire Department, Spencer County Emergency Medical Services and a Stein Garage wrecker assisted.


ST. HENRY — Damage was estimated at $5,000 when an SUV collided with a deer Thursday night northeast of St. Henry.

Max Rickelman, 18, of 1444 E. 815S, Ferdinand, was eastbound on County Road 1000S in a 2003 Mazda Tribute when the 8:12 p.m. accident occurred just east of County Road 100W, according to the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department.

A deputy said a deer jumped out of some brush off the south side of the county road and onto the Mazda’s hood. The deer then slid off the hood and was run over by the SUV, according to police.

The vehicle was able to be driven from the scene.


JASPER — A Loogootee man complained of pain after rolling his car Thursday afternoon north of Jasper.

Robert E. Smith, 33, was northbound on U.S. 231 in a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix when the 4:28 p.m. accident occurred at Old Road 45, according to the county sheriff’s department.

A deputy said Smith failed to notice a vehicle stopped on the highway waiting to turn onto Old Road 45. When he did apply his brakes, his car went off the east side of the highway as he attempted to avoid the turning vehicle.

Smith’s car flipped onto its top for a short time before flipping back onto its wheels, police said. It stopped facing south in a ditch on the east side of the highway.

Police said Smith complained of neck and head pain. He was transported by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Jasper where a spokeswoman said he was treated and released.

The crash totaled Smith’s car. Police cited him for driving too fast to avoid a collision.

The Haysville Volunteer Fire Department, Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services and a Uebelhor & Sons wrecker assisted.

Fire run

JASPER — Units of the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department responded to an alarm activation at 9:23 p.m. Thursday at Trinity United Church of Christ, 310 W. Eighth St.

There was no fire, and Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang said an accumulation of moisture was found inside a pull station alarm, something that might be attributed to Wednesday night’s storm and heavy rain, he said.

An alarm company representative addressed the problem Thursday night and successfully reset the system.

Five trucks and 27 firefighters were on the scene 20 minutes.



CHRISNEY — Responding to sites where there was storm damage kept the Chrisney Volunteer Fire Department busy for five hours Wednesday night.

Fire Chief Kent Groves said the activity began at 7 p.m. CDT when the department was called south of town, near U.S. 231 and State Road 70, because a tree had fallen on a power line. The sparking had ignited grass at the scene, Groves said.

One truck and six firefighters were on the scene for an hour.

When the firefighters returned to the station, Groves said, they were sent back just south of the previous area to a sparking transformer near State Road 70 and Spencer County Road 250E.

One truck and 10 firefighters were on the scene for only a short time because the transformer put itself out, Groves said.

Soon after, the department responded to a very similar situation with a transformer sparking on South Railroad Street. That also put itself out.

Then, at about 10 p.m. CDT, the department secured the scene north of Chrisney where a downed tree and power lines blocked U.S. 231. Ten Chrisney firefighters were on the scene for about two hours. The Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department assisted.

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