A Crothersville Police Department reserve officer sustained serious injuries when his vehicle was rear-ended on Interstate 65 on Friday morning, police report.
Michael A. Weiler, 45, of Brownstown, who has served with the department for five years, had to be extricated from his vehicle before being flown from the scene to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, according to a news release from Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the Indiana State Police Versailles Post.
On Friday afternoon, a Crothersville official said Weiler was in serious but stable condition.
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That morning, state police responded to the scene of a two-vehicle wreck on northbound Interstate 65 between Uniontown and Seymour.
The initial investigation by the Versailles Crash Investigation Response Team indicated two Crothersville police officers, identified as Weiler and Chief Matt Browning, were providing traffic control for a highway maintenance crew that was working on I-65.
Shortly before 6 a.m., the officers pulled onto northbound I-65 near the 44-mile-marker and were blocking both lanes with their emergency lights activated.
Weiler was in the right lane in a fully marked 2007 Ford Crown Victoria, Wheeles said. A 2020 International truck pulling a trailer, being driven by Harvest L. Beacham, 37, of Indianapolis, was traveling in the right lane of northbound I-65 approaching the police vehicles.
Beacham’s semi collided with the rear of Weiler’s vehicle, pushing it off of the east side of the roadway, where it overturned and came to rest on its top, Wheeles said. Beacham’s truck entered the median, where it collided with the cable barrier before coming to a stop. Beacham was not injured.
At 9 a.m., Wheeles posted on his Facebook page that the left lane of northbound I-65 reopened. Forty minutes later, both lanes were back open.
Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be factors in the wreck, although toxicology results are pending, and the investigation is ongoing, Wheeles said.
On Friday morning, a post on the Town of Crothersville Facebook page said a town officer was involved in an accident on the interstate and asked people to keep him and his family in their prayers.
“Also be thinking of CPD, other responders and the town of Crothersville,” the post reads. “This is a tight-knit group, a family thrown together by chance.”
In a later post, the town invited people to attend a prayer circle Friday night at the police department.
Weiler also is the pastor of New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Brownstown and is a volunteer with the Brownstown Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire department posted on its Facebook page Friday afternoon.
“This morning, we got a call that no one wants to hear … one of our own firefighters was hurt,” the post reads. “Mike has been a part of Brownstown fire department for several years, but Mike was also a part of the Crothersville Police Department. Mike isn’t only a firefighter, but he is one of our brothers. Please keep Mike’s family in your prayers. #19-6Strong.”
The Versailles Crash Investigation Response Team was assisted by numerous troopers from the Versailles and Sellersburg posts and the ISP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.
Also assisting were the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Crothersville Police Department, Jackson County Emergency Medical Services, Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department, Jackson-Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department, Redding Township Volunteer Fire Department, St. Vincent StatFlight medical helicopter, 31 Wrecker Service and C and C Towing.