Pair of accidents lead to serious injuries

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A pair of weekend accidents in Putnam County sent six people to the hospital, with one person from each accident taken to Indianapolis by helicopter.

In a Sunday evening incident, a driver was westbound on County Road 350 North west of Brick Chapel when he left the road for an unknown reason.

Deputies Virgil Lanning and Kyle Gibbons reported that Mark French of Greencastle was westbound in a Ford F150 approaching County Road 200 West when he crossed the center line, departed the roadway on the left for an unknown reason.

The truck hit a ditch on the south side of the road, coming to rest about five feet below the road surface.

Passersby located the truck, immediately removing the two children who were in the truck and calling 911.

Before authorities arrived, citizens had removed French and his adult passenger as well.

While both children were properly restrained in the vehicle, it appears that neither adult was wearing a safety belt.

French was transported to St. Vincent Indianapolis by StatFlight due to the seriousness of his injuries.

The adult passenger, whose name has not been released, was transported to Putnam County Hospital for injuries.

The children appeared to be uninjured in the incident.

No contributing factors to the wreck had been determined as of Monday afternoon.

An early-morning Saturday accident near Fillmore also left four teenagers injured.

At around 12:40 a.m., Michael J. Vanseveren, 19, Plainfield, was southbound on County Road 425 East in Marion Township in a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire.

Vanseveren told Deputy Mike Downing he was using his GPS to get home. Unfamiliar with the area, Vanseveren missed the 90-degree turn just north of the CSX railroad.

The car left the road and traveled down the embankment to the railroad, making front-end impact with the track and coming to rest on the tracks.

CSX was notified to suspend traffic in the area. Operation Life, PMH Ambulance and Fillmore Fire Department were all dispatched to the scene.

When he was found, Vanseveren told authorities there were three other occupants of the vehicle, John Pettitt, Zaine Whitlock and Ben Beauchamp. Pettitt and Whitlock were also at the scene and were transported, along with Vanseveren, to Putnam County Hospital.

Beauchamp had apparently left to get help, but Downing could not locate him when searching the area.

Vanseveren complained of pain over his entire body. He was later transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis by ambulance.

Whitlock, 18, Indianapolis, suffered facial injuries and was airlifted from Putnam County Hospital to Methodist.

Pettitt, 19, Mooresville, was treated at Putnam County Hospital for leg injuries.

Beauchamp, 19, Avon, made his way to 4693 E. CR 200 North and called for help. Operation Life responded at took him to Hendricks Regional for facial injuries.

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