For The Record: 7/26


JASPER — A Thursday night fire destroyed a Vanderburgh County man’s car at Beaver Lake.
Members of the Celestine Volunteer Fire Department were at their fire station and were able to immediately roll trucks toward the lake between Celestine and Jasper when the 8:23 p.m. call about a vehicle fire was received.

Fire Chief Chris Hasenour said trucks approaching the site off County Road 325E, north of State Road 164, saw that a car at one of the Beaver Lake lots was engulfed. No structures were endangered.

Hasenour said the 2001 Nissan Maxima owned by Taran Ellis of Evansville was totaled. A Uebelhor & Sons wrecker was called to haul away the remains of the car.

Five trucks and 19 firefighters were on the scene 50 minutes.

Hasenour said fate has found Celestine firefighters at their fire station several times this year when calls came in.

“That really gives you a jump on things,” he said, even though the vehicle was a lost cause this time. The damage to the car was too extensive to determine a cause, but it appeared the fire started in the engine compartment, Hasenour said.

If his department would have been responding to a house fire, Hasenour said, the two- or three-minute head start would have made a big difference.


FERDINAND — The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department released information today on a Saturday afternoon collision north of Ferdinand that injured one of the drivers.

Kathleen Hoffman, 31, of 9914 S. 475E, was northbound on State Road 162 in a 2007 Toyota Yaris when the 5:40 p.m. accident occurred near County Road 825S, according to authorities.

Deputies said Hoffman had slowed for oncoming traffic with the intent of turning left into a private drive when her Toyota was struck from behind by a 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by 28-year-old Rachel Cartwright, of 6901 E. Mundy Blvd., Celestine.

Cartwright told deputies she had been distracted by her car radio and did not see Hoffman’s slowing car in time to avoid the collision. Police said both vehicles did 180-degree spins before stopping in the middle of the highway.

Deputies said Cartwright suffered several small cuts to her forearm. An ambulance was called and Cartwright was treated at the scene, police said.

Hoffman’s car sustained heavy rear-end damage and was listed as totaled. Damage to the front driver’s side of Cartwright’s Chrysler was estimated at $3,500. Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

Police cited Cartwright for speed too fast to avoid a collision.

Ferdinand’s police and fire departments, Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services and wreckers from Uebelhor & Sons and Sternberg Chrysler Center assisted.


JASPER — Police ticketed one of the drivers when an SUV and a pickup truck collided Thursday afternoon in the 3100 block of Mill Street.

Billy R. Jones, 48, of 480 Kirkwood Drive, was southbound on Mill Street in a 2005 Ford pickup truck when the accident occurred at 1:04 p.m., according to the Jasper Police Department.

Police said a 1992 Ford Explorer driven by 56-year-old H.K. Welp, of 365 S. Truman Road, left the south exit of Leitz Tooling, 3185 Mill St., and struck Jones’ truck.

Damage was estimated at $3,000 to Jones’ truck and $1,000 to Welp’s SUV.

Police cited Welp for failure to yield the right of way.


JASPER — No citations were issued after two vehicles collided Thursday afternoon at 15th and Main streets.

Joan N. Smith, 84, of 660 Rumbach Ave., was westbound on 15th Street in a 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier at 3:45 p.m. when she encountered traffic backed up from construction on Newton Street, according to Jasper police.

Smith put her car in reverse and, when she attempted to back up, police said, she backed into a 2013 Cadillac driven by 53-year-old Starla M. Ziegler, of 2663 N. Darry St.

Police said Smith’s car did not appear to have been damaged. Damage to Ziegler’s Cadillac was estimated at $1,500.


Indiana State Police arrested 23-year-old Brandi M. Boos, of 426 W. 43rd St., on Thursday and charged her with a Class C felony count of insurance fraud and a misdemeanor count of false informing.

Authorities said Boos and 25-year-old Nathan A. Purkhiser of French Lick shared ownership of a 2001 Buick Regal that was wrecked in November but then reported stolen. That vehicle was recovered July 2 in Haysville, according to authorities.

Police arrested Purkhiser on similar charges Wednesday.

Authorities booked Boos into the Dubois County Security Center at 6:45 p.m.

More on