State police investigating whether I-65 crash was intentional

Indiana State Police troopers are investigating whether the driver of a recreational vehicle intentionally crashed into a concrete barrier near the 55 mile marker of Interstate 65, blocking northbound traffic for hours.

The crash Wednesday was one of two on I-65 between Seymour and Columbus in a construction zone that caused one injury, Indiana State Police said. The Indiana Department of Transportation is widening I-65 in the area from two lanes to three on both sides of the interstate.

The first crash, at around 1 p.m., was a sport utility vehicle that overturned at the 60 mile marker in Bartholomew County in the southbound lanes with the vehicle stopping overturned in the middle of the lanes. The driver was not injured, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the Indiana State Police Versailles Post.

The second crash, which occurred within minutes after the first, was in the northbound lanes at the 55 mile marker in Jackson County. An RV pulling a trailer driven by Clarence Hampton, 37, of Orlando, Florida, crashed into a concrete barrier in the median of the construction zone, Wheeles said.

The RV then caught fire and burned in the median, Wheeles said.

Hampton was transported by ambulance to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour before being airlifted to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis with serious injuries, Wheeles said. Two passengers in the vehicle were not injured.

Wheeles said an investigation is continuing into how the accident happened.

Traffic was diverted off the interstate onto U.S. 31 and State Road 11 while the northbound interstate lanes were closed for nearly three hours for crash investigation and cleanup.

Read the full story in Friday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.