[Nameplate] Mostly Cloudy ~ 61°F  
High: 70°F ~ Low: 46°F
Sunday, May 1, 2016

One hospitalized after West Walnut accident

Thursday, January 4, 2007

A Wednesday morning accident sent a Greencastle man to the hospital, while leaving power lines down west of the city.

Putnam County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Johnson told the BannerGraphic that Shem A. Rees, 31, Greencastle, driving a 1991 Chevy S10, was traveling westbound on County Road 125 South when he hit a patch of ice just east of the Madison Township Volunteer Fire Department's station.

Johnson reported there had been some water on the roadway. With temperatures in the lower 30s Wednesday morning and with that stretch of road being shaded by several large trees, the water quickly became a thin sheet of ice.

Johnson said it appeared that the rear end of Rees' truck broke free when it hit the ice. The vehicle then slid sideways off the road on the left side and struck both a phone box and a power pole.

The power pole splintered, bringing the top half down on the roof of Rees' truck and the power lines down across the roadway. Johnson said the lines were still hot when emergency crews arrived on the scene. Parke County REMC had a crew only two miles away from the accident and they were able to quickly shut off the power to the lines.

Johnson said it was "pure luck" that the power company had a crew in the area.

Greencastle and Madison Township firefighters were able to remove the roof of the truck to gain access to Rees.

According to Johnson, Rees was not wearing his seatbelt and did not remember what happened or what he struck.

Emergency crews also found a 2-foot splinter of the power pole had entered the truck. Johnson said the splinter was practically laying in Rees' lap, but it did not impale him.

Rees, who complained of back pain, was transported to Putnam County Hospital by Operation Life, where he was airlifted to Methodist Hospital by a LifeLine helicopter.

Johnson estimated the damages to be $10,000 to $25,000. Hospital officials said Thursday morning Rees was listed in fair condition.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: