Crash leaves INDOT worker fatally injured

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
An INDOT worker died Tuesday of injuries he sustained when he was struck by a passing car while working on a crew along U.S. 36. (Banner Graphic/LAUREN BOUCHER)

MORTON -- An accident Tuesday morning on U.S. 36 left one Indiana Department of Transportation worker fatally injured.

At 10:18 a.m. police were dispatched to U.S. 36 approximately one-half mile west of C.R. 600 West, just west of Union Chapel United Methodist Church.

A preliminary investigation revealed that INDOT workers were removing dirt and debris from the roadway edges as a preventative maintenance issue.

Steven Overbay

Eastbound traffic was stopped by the INDOT flagman Steven Overbay, 27, of Roachdale, when a Toyota Matrix driven by Cleve Scott, 79, of Rockville, failed to stop and veered right in an attempt to avoid a rear- end collision with a Ford truck, which was already stopped.

"In doing so, the white Toyota struck the INDOT flagman, propelling him onto the hood of the car and partially through the windshield," explained Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Joe Watts. "The flagman was standing on the south side of the roadway near the grass and not in the travel portion of the roadway."

Putnam County Deputy Coroner Stephen Caulkins pronounced the victim, an INDOT worker since 2007, dead at the scene.

The two passengers, traveling in the Toyota Matrix, Scott and his sister Aldene Smith, 75, of Rockville, were transferred via Operation Life to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Scott suffered from a fractured left arm, head and facial lacerations. Smith was uninjured.

"ISP investigators determined there were five signs deployed by INDOT to warn oncoming traffic of the flagman and construction," Watts said. "Mr. Overbay was wearing his required high visibility reflective vest at the time of impact."

The crash is under investigation by ISP Senior Trooper Jason Schoffstall and ISP Crash Re-constructionist Sgt. Jim Cody. Assisting were other ISP troopers, Putnam County Sheriff's Office, Putnam County Coroner's Office, Putnam County Operation Life, Bainbridge Fire/Rescue and Roachdale PMH.

Scott has not been formally charged.

Under Indiana law, it is a Class C felony to strike and kill a highway worker, which is punishable with 2-8 years imprisonment and a maximum $10,000 fine.

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  • What a sad and tragic end to this young man's life. I feel very bad for his family and the driver of the car that hit him. Sad, very sad.

    -- Posted by donantonioelsabio on Wed, Sep 19, 2012, at 7:57 AM
  • This is really tragic and completely avoidable. I hope the criminal behind this faces the maximum penalties. There was no excuse for this based on this: '"ISP investigators determined there were five signs deployed by INDOT to warn oncoming traffic of the flagman and construction," Watts said. "Mr. Overbay was wearing his required high visibility reflective vest at the time of impact."'

    -- Posted by AlexanderAlexander on Wed, Sep 19, 2012, at 10:10 AM
  • My prayers for his family.

    -- Posted by just1me on Wed, Sep 19, 2012, at 4:47 PM
  • Did Mr. Scott have a medical condition prior to crash?

    -- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Sep 19, 2012, at 4:48 PM
  • Senseless tragedy is right! At what age do we begin giving not only the written test, but a driving test for the elderly? I'm sorry, but there were plenty of warnings given - and the paper says nothing about a medical condition, so it had to be slowed reflexes.

    These tragedies could be avoided if we put stricter laws in place. And yes, when I'm that age, I HOPE AND PRAY someone protects others from my dangerous driving habits!

    Prayers to the Overbay family. I'm so sorry.

    -- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Sep 20, 2012, at 12:21 PM

    -- Posted by lhmh on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 8:46 PM
  • IDOT did have Plenty of signs going east towards Morton on Hwy 36, but clear back in Parke Co. before Putnam County line, another was laid over by the S curve, none were even close to this area in the dip before the Red Brick Church for the east bond lanes where this accident happened. Depending on just where the Flag man was at down this steep hill would a driver even see them until it was to late to avoid an accident. I myself thought maybe they went to lunch until I saw stopped traffic ahead as I came out of the S curve, reguardless drivers did have warning of Road Work Ahead to be driving with caution, the confusion was just where the workers were at because of the placement of those Signs. On our return from Greencastle it didn't take IDOT long to remove those Warning signs that should of been moved in the first place closer to where the work was being performed for the east bond traffic.

    As stated by ISP investigators 5 signs deployed by IDOT to warn oncoming traffic, does that report also state how far away those signs were place to warn drivers?? Drivers do assume these signs are suppose to be moved closer to the work area as the workers move along and away from their placement at the beginning of each work day. We shouldn't judge Mr. Scott, anyone of us could of been the driver of the car that hit this IDOT worker.

    Prayers for Mr. Overbay, his family.

    -- Posted by MagyarGypsy on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 7:47 AM
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