Two high school basketball players were injured, one critically, when their SUV slid off the Bainbridge-Roachdale Road south of North Putnam High School and rolled.
The crash resulted in the postponement of conclusion the Putnam County Classic basketball tournament, which was scheduled for Saturday evening. The two teens were reported on their way to the high school to catch the team bus when the accident occurred about 2:45 p.m.
Cory Dean, 16, remained in critical condition Sunday afternoon in Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He was ejected from the SUV in the crash.
His passenger, Zachary Thomas Hedrick, 18, Heritage Lake, was also injured. He was able to talk to police after the crash.
Bainbridge Deputy Marshal Doug Nally said it appeared that Dean lost control of the eastbound vehicle on the icy road. The 1995 Ford Explorer went off the road and rolled in a field. The top of the vehicle was caved in, Nally said, but he was unsure how many times the vehicle rolled.
The accident occurred on the stretch of CR 800 North between CR 200 East and CR 250 East.
"It was a sheet of ice, even when I got there," Deputy Nally said.
Passersby had stopped at the scene and were assisting both Dean and Hedrick when emergency personnel arrived, Nally said.
Dean was transported via ambulance to Hendricks Community Health in Danville, and was later airlifted to Methodist Hospital.
Nally was assisted at the scene by Roachdale and Bainbridge firefighters, PMH and O.L. ambulance personnel, Trooper Heath Kerns and Sheriff's Reserve Deputies Barry Barger and Denna DeLaCruz.
Saturday afternoon's sleet and rain made roads slick throughout the area, resulting in multiple slide-offs on major roads in the county.
Sheriff's Sgt. Don Pettit reported that the Raccoon bridge on U.S. 231 near the Putnam-Montgomery County Line was closed temporarily until highway crews could spread salt on the road.
"There were a few minor accidents where people were coming across there and hitting the bridge walls," Pettit said. "It was a sheet of ice."
Lt. Danny Wallace of the Sheriff's Department said he also worked at least four accidents Saturday afternoon.
"It was non-stop there for about two hours," Wallace said of the weather-induced accidents.
He responded to a three-vehicle pile-up on the Irwin Bridge on West Walnut Street Road, an accident west of Irwin Bridge, a van that rolled over at the West Walnut Creek Bridge, and an accident on Somerset Church Road (CR 500 North).
No one was seriously injured in those accidents, he said.
State highway road crews in the Crawfordsville District (which includes Putnam County) were out treating the roads until about midnight Saturday night. The slick conditions began earlier than anticipated.
"It hit us before we expected it. We did know it was coming," said radio operator Brenda Walters, who told the BannerGraphic she was on duty through the worst of the foul weather Saturday night.
"We did have people out until midnight last night until the weather started (clearing)," she said. "If people would just slow down, it would be a lot better."