Isolated ice results in several accidents Thanksgiving night

Friday, November 28, 2014

Forget about those overhyped Black Friday events, it was Black Ice Thursday that took over the Thanksgiving holiday in Putnam County.

The black ice conditions that developed after dark appeared to have been isolated mainly to an area south and west of Greencastle.

Although a mere dusting of snow fell in and around Greencastle Thursday, swirling winds, heavy holiday traffic and cold temperatures provided a recipe for black ice and slick conditions not only along Interstate 70 between Terre Haute and Cloverdale but even down Manhattan Road and especially along U.S. 231 south of Greencastle.

Just after 8:30 p.m. Thanksgiving night, authorities began receiving reports of a multi-vehicle accident involving a semi on Plessinger's Hill, about two miles south of Greencastle. Initial police scanner traffic indicated the accident was a possibly a head-on collision with entrapment.

According to Putnam County Sheriff's Department officials, a northbound vehicle lost control on the icy U.S. 231 roadway, crossed the centerline and struck a southbound vehicle head-on. That vehicle was then struck from behind by a vehicle following behind it.

The semi, however, was reportedly able to avoid a collision by driving off the roadway.

Three persons said to be in the southbound vehicle suffered apparent minor injuries and were transported to Putnam County Hospital by Operation Life ambulance.

Authorities indicated that the injured persons were all from out of the county.

The accident and icy conditions forced the closing of U.S. 231, described as "a sheet of ice" at the time, until 10 p.m.

Even Operation Life ambulance personnel reporting to the scene made reference to how slick the roadway had beome. Authorities were able to get a salt truck to the scene after 9 p.m. to treat the roadway in the Plessinger's Hill area.

Meanwhile, at least two accidents were also reported along Manhattan Road southwest of Greencastle about the same time, including one involving an SUV going into a utility pole south of Limedale and another reportedly involving two vehicles colliding in a curve.

Several slide-offs also were reported along Interstate 70 on Thanksgiving night, although none of them appeared to involve any serious injuries. Their occurrence, however, kept police personnel busy between Terre Haute and Cloverdale.

In addition to Sheriff's Department deputies and Operation Life, personnel from Greencastle City Police and the Cloverdale Fire Department assisted at the Plessinger's Hill scene as well as at U.S. 231 and U.S. 40 to help redirect northbound traffic.

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