Construction flagger struck by impaired driver on U.S. 231 south

Thursday, May 24, 2018 ~ Updated 2:23 PM
Courtesy Indiana State Police

UPDATE, 9:15 a.m. Friday: According to Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts, Danny Harrington remains in critical condition.


A construction flagger was critically injured Thursday evening when he was hit by an alleged impaired driver on U.S. 231, south of Greencastle.

At 7:16 p.m., the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a report of a multi-vehicle crash involving a pedestrian near 3037 U.S. 231 South, which is in the area of Jones Road (County Road 300 South).

Sheriff’s deputies initially responed but relinquished the crash investigation to the Indiana State Police.

Preliminary investigation revealed a flagger was stopping southbound traffic for pavement resurfacing. A 2008 Ford F150 stopped for the flagger, as did a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria.

A third vehicle, 2008 Subaru Outback, failed to stop, sideswiped the Crown Victoria, struck the Ford F150 and lastly, struck the flagger.

The flagger, Danny K. Harrington, 53, Terre Haute, was critically injured and airlifted by StatFlight to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment.

Harrington worked for Wabash Valley Asphalt.

Jessie Parks

The driver of the Subaru Outback was 52-year-old Jessie D. Parks of Cloverdale. She complained of pain and was treated and released from Putnam County Hospital.

Preliminary toxicology results indicated positive for marijuana and a BAC of .10 percent. She was set to be incarcerated in the Putnam County Jail Thursday evening on various charges, following the investigation with ISP. Alcoholic beverage containers were visible inside her car.

Driver of the Ford 150 was 52-year-old Robert D. Kennedy Jr. of West Terre Haute. Driver of the Crown Victoria was 73-year-old Murrell E. Pearson of Fairland. Neither were injured or cited.

U.S. 231 was closed following the crash and reopened at 10:48p.m.

The crash is being investigated by ISP Trooper Kyle Hall. Assisting were ISP Crash Reconstructionist Troopers Jordan Hall and Tim Rader, Master Trooper Todd Brown, ISP Detectives 1Sgt. Jason Fajt and Don Curtis, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Putnam County Operation Life Paramedics, Greencastle Police, Greencastle Fire Department, Cloverdale Police and StatFlight Medivac.

There were also reports of a secondary accident on Airport Road involving traffic diverted from U.S. 231. No further details were available on the secondary crash as of press time.

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  • This is awful. Hope the drunk cloverdale yokel spends some time at club putnamville, yet it'd be cheaper to continue to pay her monthly benefits as a worthless addict.


    Your company is terrible at managing traffic on this project. Shame on you. Some of the fault lies on management. I was astonished to see how poorly the signless (some w/out visible safety vests) untrained flaggers managed one-lane traffic near 231&240 yesterday morning. I was late to work because no signs were posted indicating the work, and the path through the worksite was not cleared of debris. Shame on you. I hope an investigation brings these issues to light and the company is found partially liable for the tragic accident last night.

    I drove away from the construction site thinking "someone is going to die because of these idiots".

    -- Posted by PLEASE_give_ME_attention on Fri, May 25, 2018, at 8:16 AM
  • I totally agree with the above comment regarding the flagging issue. At 40 & 231 the other day the flaggers were screaming at people, not allowing left turns without prior notice, and traffic was backed up for a half mile. It doesn't help that Greencastle decided just now to resume the project on Manhattan Road near Phoenix Closures after 7 months of inactivity.

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Fri, May 25, 2018, at 8:50 AM
  • Yes Den Dover, It was brilliant of everyone involved to close Manhattan Rd only to run the detour to 231 then all but close and cause delays on the detour as well at the same time. It would have also been nice if the county would have fixed the local detour road that runs behind the bowling alley past the county highway garage. It was being used by an oversized load semi last night that was empty and a dump truck that wasn't county highway. Wonder what the load limit is on that part of the road? That could be a decent road if they would fix the 3/4 mile of the bad area. T Duggan

    -- Posted by lduggan69 on Fri, May 25, 2018, at 9:36 AM
  • This accident is absolutely tragic and I pray that the worker that was injured makes a full and complete recovery. That being said, the driver was impaired which did not help the already sketchy directing of the traffic. I travel 231 to work every day, I was unaware that this road work was even beginning, let alone going to cause such major delays in my morning commute. The workers directing traffic did not have proper gear, nor signage to make it clear where the cars were supposed to go. I watched multiple workers smoking not paying attention to the cars passing them while holding a sign waving haphazardly at cars not really showing them which way to go. I worry about traveling on 231 on a daily basis anyway because of the constant wreckage that occurs, this lack of regard for human safety was unacceptable.

    -- Posted by nicwags82 on Fri, May 25, 2018, at 10:44 AM
  • There have been signs up for months warning of construction coming. There have been message boards saying to expect long delays. There are signs saying one lane road ahead and flagger ahead. The flaggers direct the lead car where to go, the rest need simply to follow the car in front of them. Slow down, pay attention and stay off the phone. The workers' lives depend on it. And for crying out loud don't drive impaired! We all want to go hoome at the end of the day, workers and motorists alike.

    -- Posted by Geologist on Sat, May 26, 2018, at 2:11 PM
  • Inexcusable to be driving impaired.

    -- Posted by letspulltogether on Sat, May 26, 2018, at 6:31 PM
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