Three Intense Car Crashes in Indiana End in a Number of Deaths and Open Investigations

Three Intense Car Crashes in Indiana End in a Number of Deaths and Open Investigations Three car crashes in Indiana in the last week have left a number of individuals dead and critically injured.

On Sunday, July 24, 68-year-old Judith Combs, a resident of Columbus, Indiana, was struck in her vehicle on State Road 37, north of Bloomington, Indiana. The crash took place right before 11 a.m., according to radio station WCSI. Combs allegedly failed to yield right of way to an oncoming Jeep Cherokee bearing northbound. Laura Wilson of Martinsville, Indiana, struck Combs’ vehicle at a right angle.

Combs was pronounced dead at the scene and her two young passengers were injured. They were treated at Indiana University Health Hospital for their injuries. Wilson refused medical treatment at the scene though she claimed ankle pain, according to the news outlet.

Only a week earlier – on July 16, a couple from Greenville, Ohio driving south on Indiana 101 in Allen County was struck by a westbound Star of America charter bus at around 10:20 p.m. at night, reports the Journal Gazette. Stanley Hines and Mary Hines were reportedly killed after running a stop sign.

Both were 77 years old and died of blunt-force trauma caused by the accident, according to a statement from the Allen County Coroner’s Office. The Star of American charter bus, which is based in Jeffersonville and boasts centers across Indiana, could carry up to 55 passengers. Two people on board suffered minor injuries.

According to three motorist witnesses, Hines ran the stop sign. He was seen to be driving at a high speed.

The vehicle’s engine reportedly burst into flames while the bus, struck, skidded off into a cornfield, the news source reports. Further investigation by the sheriff’s department and coroner’s office is pending.

The Journal Gazette adds that Mary and Stanley Hines are the 20th and 21st traffic fatalities in Allen County and Fort Wayne, Indiana this year.

Three days later, on July 19, at 8:45 p.m., a couple driving through New Castle was hit by 67-year-old Samie McBride’s Ford Taurus at a red light at the intersection of Trojan Lane and Ind. 3. Both occupants – driver Stacy Penrose-Sweigart and husband Jason Swiegart, 32- and 30-years old, respectively, were killed instantly in a gruesome crash, according to The Star Press.

The Sweigart’s red Plymouth was parked at the red light and burst into flames after the Taurus slammed into the car. The couple leaves a 5-year-old son behind, reports the news outlet.

McBride’s Taurus flipped onto its top after traveling southbound 200 feet away to the next intersection along Ind 3. According to the outlet, McBride was airlifted to Indianapolis by medical helicopter. As of Wednesday, July 20, she was still in serious condition in an intensive care unit.

Speaking to the news outlet, New Castle Police Chief Jim Nicholson said, “It was probably the worst crash I’ve seen in the city. You could see from the videos and other things that it was a pretty horrific accident.”

Officials are investigating the crash’s cause – whether a medical condition, drugs, alcohol or mechanical failure. McBride’s car was witnessed to be driving erratically before the accident, according to the outlet.

Recently, stricter laws on texting while driving were signed in order to prevent potentially fatal instances of distracted driving. Signed by Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, the law bans texting while driving altogether. Indiana is the 32nd state to prohibit such actions. The law became effective on July 1 and fines violators $500.