Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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April 25, 2008

Accident closes I-74

A one-vehicle crash near New Point Friday, April 25, claimed the life of a New Castle man.

“At 4:47 a.m. Decatur County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a call of a crash in the median on I-74,” reported Sgt. Noel Houze, Indiana State Police Versailles District public information officer.

The investigation revealed a 1995 Freightliner semi tractor pulling a flatbed trailer was being driven by Roger Mendl, 54, eastbound on I-74. “For unknown reasons the semi ran off the right side of the roadway. The driver then overcorrected and came back across the eastbound lanes into the median as the semi jackknifed and overturned,” Houze said. Mendl was trapped in the wreckage and pronounced dead at the scene by Decatur County Coroner’s Office officials.

A second accident occurred when the first semi crashed in the median. A westbound semi struck debris from the first incident, causing minor damage to its front end. No injuries resulted from the second crash.

Traffic was being diverted along State Road 46. I-74 was re-opened at about 9:45 a.m., he added.

The crash is being investigated by ISP Trooper Jason Hankins, who is being assisted by ISP motor carrier inspectors Robert Burkhead and Beverly Ochs. Also assisting at the scene were the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, New Point Volunteer Fire Department and Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

The coroner’s office will be conducting an autopsy to determine if any medical conditions contributed to the crash, Houze noted.

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Director John Leo Muething (left) reviews notes with the cast of "Cain" by Lord Byron during one of the last run-throughs before June 26-28 performances.

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