Texting driver causes multi-vehicle accident that causes two to be transported via air ambulance

PUTNAM CO. – A multi-vehicle accident occurring on US 231 near US 40, sends two individuals to hospitals in Indianapolis, via air ambulance.

On Tuesday, May 31, at approximately 7:20 p.m., Indiana State Police Sergeant Cory Robinson responded to a four-vehicle accident involving a semi-tractor trailer and three passenger vehicles

A preliminary investigation by Sergeant Cory Robinson, who was assisted by Putnamville Troopers Austin Fowler, Colton Maynor, and Tim Rader, indicates that a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze driven by Shylor Clark, 30, of Spencer, Indiana, was traveling southbound on US 231. 

Due to texting and driving, Clark drifted to the west side of US 231 running off the roadway.  He then overcorrected traveling back into the northbound lanes of US 231 sideswiping a northbound 2011 Freightliner that was driven by Nigel Leach, age 57, of College Park, Georgia.  This collision caused the semi-tractor-trailer to become disabled due to damage to the rear tandem.  

Two other vehicles were involved in secondary accidents. A Pontiac Vibe driven by Nadine Pursel, age 71, of Spencer, Indiana, was traveling northbound on US 231 directly behind the semi tractor-trailer, and a GMC Sierra, driven by Charles Hall, age 64 of Bradenton, Florida, was traveling southbound on US 231 directly behind the Chevrolet Cruze.  Both Pursel and Hall witnessed the original accident and made evasive maneuvers to avoid becoming directly involved.  These maneuvers caused both vehicles to travel off the east and west side of US 231 and into the ditch.

Shylor Clark, driver of the Chevy Cruz, and Richard Pursel, age 77, a passenger from the Pontiac Vibe, were transported to hospitals in Indianapolis via air ambulance.  Injuries are non-life-threatening. 

The Indiana State Police wants to remind all motorists to not use their hand-held cell phones while driving, to obey the posted speed limit, and to always buckle up when operating a motor vehicle.  Let’s all work together to make the roadways safe for everyone.    

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Cloverdale Volunteer Fire Department, Greencastle Fire Department, Putnam County EMS, LifeLine, Stat Flight, INDOT, and Curtis Wrecker Service.