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Sleepy Driver Started Chain Reaction Five-Vehicle Pileup

Last updated on Thursday, May 17, 2012

(LINTON) - A sleepy driver apparently ran a stoplight and started a chain of events that led to a five-vehicle pileup on State Road 54 near the entrance to Angell’s Shopping Center in Linton on Tuesday afternoon.

Nick Schneider of the Greene County Daily World reports that 42-year-old Scott Shorter, of Linton, was the most seriously hurt person in the 3:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. He was treated initially at Greene County General Hospital with multiple contusions and bruises. He was later transferred to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

At about noon Wednesday, hospital public relations manager Whitney Ertel said Shorter's condition was critical. He has multiple broken ribs, a broken sternum and a tear in his aorta. Surgery was scheduled Wednesday to repair the aorta, according to Shorter's sister, Martha Hollingsworth, of Dugger.

The wreck began when Mitchell Davis, 57, of Martinsville, driving his 2002 Chevrolet pickup eastbound and hauling a fishing boat, fell asleep, veered into the westbound lane and ran the stoplight -- slamming head-on into Shorter's 1990 GEO Prizm.

Shorter's compact car was sitting at the stoplight in the westbound lane, according to a report filed by Linton Police Officer Karl Jacobshagen.

The impact shoved the Shorter car into the front of a 1998 GMC Sierra pickup, driven by Johnny May, 59, of Route 1, Linton, and the driver's side of a 2001 Chevrolet pickup, driven by Zachary Clifford, 18, of Sandborn.

May's truck was then shoved into the front of a 2005 Ford Focus, driven by Scott Dierdorf, 37, of Linton, according to the report.

Shorter was trapped in his heavily damaged car and had to be extricated by members of the Linton Fire Department Rescue unit.

Davis, who had two passengers in his truck, complained of pain over his entire body and was treated and released at Greene County General Hospital.

Jacobshagen said Davis told him that he was driving past McDonald's, "then the next thing he knew the accident had already happened."

Assisting at the scene was LPD Det. Paul Clark.


Photo courtesy of Nick Schneider Greene County Daily World

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