HOWE – A Friday night accident left a man with serious injuries after he lost control of his car on the Indiana Toll Road.
The accident was reported at 9:20 p.m. Friday, July 2, on the Toll Road near the 112-mile marker, LaGrange County.
Police determined a 2017 Kia passenger car had been traveling east on the toll road when it ran off the roadway through center grass median, rolling multiple times in the westbound lanes with oncoming traffic. The Kia came to a final rest on its side and did not strike any other vehicles.
A semi-tractor-trailer traveling in the westbound lanes was able to avoid the collision with the Kia, but left the roadway and crashed in a ditch. The semi-driver, Temitayo Oluwasanmi, 35, of Baltimore, Md., was not injured.
The Kia driver, Steven B. Clery, 36, of Berwyn, Illinois, was found to be suffering from multiple serious trauma injuries to his head and arm. Prior to the troopers’ arrival, several motorists were assisting the injured driver.
Trooper Brandon Johnson applied a tourniquet to Clery’s arm to control the heavy bleeding and then requested a Parkview Samaritan helicopter to the scene. A second tourniquet was also applied as they waited.
He was listed in stable condition.
Trooper Tharp’s preliminary investigation found witness information that alleges Clery was observed on his cellphone prior to the crash, suggesting that distracted driving may have been a primary cause, or at least a contributing cause.
Drug impairment is also suspected, a factor that remains under investigation.
Clery was wearing his seatbelt, however the airbags equipped in the KIA were not in working order, apparently because they had deployed in an earlier crash. Clery’s dog was possibly ejected from the car during the crash, and was later found in good condition in a side ditch. LaGrange Animal Control was notified to care for the dog.
Westbound lanes of traffic had to be completely shut down for roughly two hours until the vehicles and all debris could be cleared from the roadway.