A car headed west on U.S. 50 just east of Seymour on Friday left the roadway, went airborne over a ditch and crashed head-on into a tree, police said.
Mikel P. Williams, 57, of Seymour was removed from the vehicle by Seymour firefighters. Jackson County Emergency Medical Services personnel stabilized him until an IU Health LifeLine helicopter landed across the road and took him to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Indiana State Police Master Trooper Tommy Walker said the helicopter was called to the scene because of the driver’s serious internal injuries. Williams was the only person in the 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis.
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“There were some internal injuries (medical personnel) weren’t sure about,” Walker said.
About 9:45 a.m. Friday, police dispatch received a call about a car crashing into a tree and the driver being trapped in the vehicle.
Walker said the car left the north side of U.S. 50 as the road curves in front of Living Word Baptist Church near County Road 560N, also known as County Avenue.
“Through negotiating the curve on the roadway, he went down into the ditch, went airborne and went head-on into the tree,” Walker said.
The embankment contained tree limbs of various sizes, and Walker said it appears the vehicle went airborne over those limbs, landed near the tree and continued into the base of the tree. The car also got tangled up in wire fencing near the tree.
“(The car) went forward into the tree and didn’t go any further,” Walker said.
About 10:15 a.m., after cutting away the driver’s side doors, firefighters and emergency medical personnel pulled Williams out of the vehicle and placed him in an ambulance.
A few minutes later, the helicopter landed in the front yard of a home across the highway. At 10:35 a.m., Williams was placed into the helicopter, which headed north to Methodist Hospital.
During the process, Williams was talking to emergency workers, Walker said. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, he added.
“We were more concerned about his injuries, so we were asking him more about his injuries, asking him if he knew where he was, and he did,” Walker said.
Once the helicopter landed, both lanes of U.S. 50 were shut down. Westbound traffic was diverted onto County Road 560N to U.S. 31 and then back to U.S. 50. The eastbound lane reopened after the helicopter left.
Seymour Police Department assisted at the scene, and Hampton Towing and Auto Repair removed the car.