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I-70 stretch of Putnam County district's busiest during snow

Friday, December 28, 2012

PUTNAMVILLE -- The storm totals are in, and suffice it to say, the Indiana State Police Putnamville District was quite a busy place during Wednesday's snowstorm.

From 6 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Putnamville troopers responded to 44 vehicle slide-offs, mostly along Interstate 70, and 15 vehicular accidents.

As a result of those mishaps, ISP troopers transported five families to area hotels after their vehicles were damaged in the accidents. Of those five families, one involved a mother with three small children, another a husband and wife with three pet dogs, and three other husband-and-wife combinations.

The busiest section of I-70 was between the 48-mile marker in Putnam County and the 23-mile marker in Clay County, or essentially the entire width of Putnam County, State Police reported.

Two of Wednesday's accidents also resulted in minor injuries to the drivers.

By county, the ISP-investigated crashes numbered seven in Putnam County (all along I-70), three in Clay County (I-70), two in Vigo County (I-70), and two in Morgan County (I-70) and one in Sullivan County (U.S. 41).

All of Wednesday's storm-related vehicle crashes and slide-offs appeared to have been caused by inexperienced drivers or operators driving too fast for conditions, reported Sgt. Joe Watts, Putnamville ISP public information officer.

The Putnamville District is responsible for Putnam, Parke, Vermillion, Vigo, Clay and Sullivan counties, as well as 58 miles of Interstate 70. The Putnamville District also covers the eight-mile section of I-70 in Morgan County.

ISP General Headquarters personnel who reside within the Putnamville District, but are normally assigned administrative duties at GHQ, were assigned to patrol the roadways and respond to calls for service within the district.

Meanwhile, all district troopers not regularly scheduled to work Wednesday were put on stand-by in anticipation of the snowfall and potential blizzard.

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