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Two Oklahoma men injured in I-70 accident Saturday night

Monday, August 6, 2012

BRAZIL -- Two Oklahoma men were injured Saturday evening when their car struck a tractor-trailer entering the construction zone at the 25-mile marker of Interstate 70 in Clay County.

Indiana State Police and Clay County emergency agencies responded to the two-vehicle crash at 7:20 p.m. The crash resulted in the driver and passenger of an SUV being airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2012 Chevrolet Avalanche, driven by Joey Barker, 27, Elk City, Okla., was eastbound in the passing lane of I-70, approaching a construction zone.

Police said both the passing and driving lanes were at or near a complete stop due to a backup in the work zone, and Barker failed to slow his vehicle.

He veered into the driving lane to avoid stopped traffic in the passing lane and struck a tractor-trailer in the rear.

Barker and his 19-year-old passenger, Cody Finley, were trapped in the vehicle for an hour before being extricated by members of the Posey and Jackson Township fire departments.

Barker was flown to Methodist Hospital by LifeLine Air Ambulance and Finley was airlifted to Methodist Hospital by Air Evac Air Ambulance.

Barker and Finley reportedly suffered lacerations, abrasions and internal injuries. It is unknown if seatbelts were in use, but airbags were deployed.

The tractor-trailer driver, James M. Tew, 64, Clear Lake, Wis., was not injured. He was operating a 2007 Volvo tractor, pulling a box trailer loaded with aluminum cans.

Eastbound I-70 traffic was diverted for about 90 minutes over State Road 59 north and U.S. 40 east to U.S. 231south, back onto I-70 east.

The crash was investigated by ISP First Sgt. Jeff Hearon. Assisting were Troopers Yan Dravigne and Tyler Van Ness of the Putnamville Post, the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Clay County Search/Rescue and Trans Care Ambulance Service.

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