Occupants but not driver IDíd in crash into creek

Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Banner Graphic/BRAND SELVIA

There were definitely three people in the car that crashed into Big Walnut Creek Monday.

And all three of them got out without major injury.

As to who was driving? Thatís about as clear as the creek at flood stage.

An accident report filed Tuesday by Putnam County Sheriffís Deputy Robert Soilleux identified the three individuals involved.

In the car at the time of the crash were Kimberlee Kirby, 17, Tommy Lemons, 23, and Cody Smith, 14, all of Greencastle.

Soilleux reported being notified of the crash at 6:24 p.m. and arriving one minute later. Based on marks on the gravel road, the 2002 Toyota Avalon had been southbound on Creek Road (County Road 200 West) when it began to fishtail, going back and for the across the road before leaving the east side of the road and plunging down the 30-foot embankment.

After hitting several trees and shrubs, it came to rest upside-down in about four feet of water.

Kirby told Soilleux she had been able to get out of the car and wasnít sure about the others, though she believed someone was getting out as she was running for help.

Lemons and Smith apparently fled across the creek and into the DePauw Nature Park. They were located shortly before 7 p.m. by an Indiana Conservation Officer in the area of the Putnam County Highway garage on County Road 225 South, at least a one-mile hike from the site.

As to who was driving, Kirby says it was Lemons, but Lemons and Smith say it was Kirby.

Kirby and Lemons both claim to have been in the back seat, while Smith said he was asleep in the passenger seat.

The car is registered to Rebecca Benson of Greencastle, who shares Kirbyís address.

Two of the three say drugs and alcohol were a factor, while the third denies that any substances were involved.

Kirby reported having pain all over, saying she had been thrown around in the car since she was not wearing a seatbelt. Putnam County EMS transported her to Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

Smith said he was having trouble breathing and was taken to Riley Childrenís Hospital in Indianapolis.

Lemons said he was not injured.

As of Wednesday morning, there had been no criminal charges filed in the matter.

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  • I've read this three times and still cant figure out who Kirby is. Who is Kirby? Is Kimberlee Kirby and Kirby is Kimberlee? Is this like Finkelstein and Einhorn?

    -- Posted by BJCP96 on Wed, Jun 9, 2021, at 12:16 PM
    Response by Jared Jernagan, Editor, Greencastle Banner-Graphic:
    Sorry for the confusion. It is Kimberlee Kirby. Her last name has been fixed on the first reference.
  • EDIT: Just Finkle not Finkelstein

    -- Posted by BJCP96 on Wed, Jun 9, 2021, at 12:17 PM
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