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Issue of October 22, 2014
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'Black ice' factor in 2 crashes

January 15, 2014 | 08:37 AM

A pair of crashes within two minutes of each other and at the same location on the roadway Sunday resulted in multiple people being sent to area hospitals.

The first incident took place at about 9:38 a.m. on S.R. 62 near Molly Brown Drive.

According to a crash report from the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept., Tonya J. Bourland, 33, of Milltown, was heading east on S.R. 62 and was coming around a slight curve when the vehicle she was driving, a 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer, lost rear traction as she applied the brakes.

The vehicle continued in a northeast direction and hit a rock wall head-on, causing the vehicle to roll over onto its passenger side.

The report says the roadway was a sheet of black ice, which Bourland was unable to see, nor was she able to regain control of her vehicle to avoid the crash once she started to slide.

Bourland was transported by ambulance to University Hospital Trauma Center in Louisville. The report says Bourland suffered two fractured wrists and a possible fractured back; her 13-year-old step-daughter suffered a broken back and her 8-year-old daughter had fractured bones in the facial area. Both of the children were air-lifted to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville.

All of the occupants of the Trailblazer were wearing their seat belts.

Two minutes after the first crash, Angela M. Fites, 54, of Corydon, was driving east on S.R. 62 in a 2007 Saturn Ion when she approached the scene and saw the Trailblazer on its side.

Fites applied her brakes and cut her wheels to avoid hitting the Trailblazer and drove off the north side of S.R. 62, hitting the same rock wall and flipping the car onto its top and facing west.

The report says — as in Bourland's case — Fites had no control once she applied her brakes and could not see the icy roadway to avoid the collision. The report goes on to say she did everything she could to avoid hitting the Trailblazer.

Fites, who was wearing a seat belt, was transported by ambulance to Harrison County Hospital for her injuries, which were not specified in the report.

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