A three-vehicle crash sent seven to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, North Vernon, Jan. 23, reported Sgt. Noel Houze, Indiana State Police Versailles District public information officer.
At about 2:50 p.m. a 1998 Ford Contour driven by Hershell Cook, 85, North Vernon, was stopped on westbound U.S. 50 in Jennings County awaiting traffic to clear to make a left turn onto County Road 240 West when a 1999 Ford Expedition driven by Peggy Ramirez, 23, North Vernon, was also westbound and struck the Ford Contour in the rear end, said Trooper Randel Miller.
The impact sent Cook’s car into the eastbound lane, where it was struck by a 2005 Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by Ronald Seibert, 69, Batesville.
All three drivers and four other occupants, three in Ramirez’s vehicle, were transported to the hospital with these injuries: Cook, serious head injury (later transferred to Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis); wife Reta Cook, 81, chest pain; Seibert, broken knee cap; Ramirez, Morgan Ritchie, 18, and Debra Kutz, 17, North Vernon, chest pain; and Grayson Bartlett, 7 months, no obvious injuries, but checked out at hospital.
Miller commented, “Everyone involved in the crash was properly restrained, including the baby. The use of seat belts and child restraint system prevented more serious injury or death.”
The crash remains under investigation. Alcohol and drugs are not suspected as being factors. Assisting at the scene were the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department, North Vernon Police Department, North Vernon Fire Department and Rescue 20.