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Traffic fatalities, here and out of state, claim 5 lives

Four people have died in two crashes in Harrison County in the past week, and a Corydon man was killed in a crash in Pennsylvania.
Yesterday morning, a Mount Vernon couple were found dead in their car along Interstate 64 near the Gethsemane Road overpass.
Lt. Randy Orme of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept. said a teenage girl who lives on Gethsemane Road noticed the Ford Taurus about 7:50 a.m. as she was heading for school.
Orme said the couple, Vaughn and Inez Wilson, both 77, had been traveling west on I-64 when their vehicle went off the north side of the road and onto a guard rail, where it traveled for a distance before dropping down onto Gethsemane Road. There, the car struck another guardrail and flipped up onto a hill.
Vaughn Wilson, the driver, was not wearing a seat belt, Orme said, while Inez Wilson was. Orme said the seat belt or lack of one probably did not play a factor in the couple’s deaths.
Harrison County Coroner Chad Cesar said Vaughn Wilson sustained massive chest injuries, and Inez Wilson suffered a broken neck.
The car had been there for some time, “probably in the wee hours,” Orme said.
Two small dogs inside the vehicle also died in the crash.
Reconstructionist from the Indiana State Police were called to the scene, and members of the Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Dept. assisted with extrication.
Two people were killed last week west of Elizabeth when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle while fleeing police.
Donald E. (Eddie) Decker, 23, of Elizabeth died just after midnight on Oct. 9 at the scene of the crash, which was about a mile west of McPhillips Road on the Elizabeth-New Middletown Road. His passenger, Nicole Christene Phillips, 31, of Louisville died about 4:30 a.m. the same day at University of Louisville Hospital.
According to Officer John Dismang of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept., he was responding to a disturbance at the Boot Scoot II Bar and Restaurant in Elizabeth when he saw Decker’s Chevy Nova about 12:05 a.m. last Wednesday, as it was facing north on the southbound side of the Elizabeth-New Middletown Road.
The car “was pulled partially off the roadway and was up next to a tree,” the officer said.
Dismang said he turned on his emergency lights and stopped next to the car. When he did that, Decker pulled his car back on the road and sped away, traveling north.
“After getting my car turned, I began to follow the vehicle with my lights and siren activated, to try to determine why” Decker was fleeing, Dismang said.
He estimated Decker was traveling about 100 mph, and he saw the Chevy Nova go airborne as it crested a hill in the road.
“I lost sight of the car and when I crested the hill where I last observed the vehicle and noticed a large amount of … smoke, I slowed my car and was (looking) for the vehicle,” Dismang said.
He found the car “in two pieces,” next to a tree about 75 yards off the side of the road, he said.
Dismang said he immediately called for an ambulance.
Decker was found laying on the ground, after being ejected from the car, with “severe injuries,” police said, and Phillips was partially trapped in the car.
Lt. Rolla Pirtle, who was the next officer to arrive on the scene, and Dismang worked to free Phillips from the car. Dismang said there was a lot of smoke coming from the car and they were concerned it would catch fire.
Neither Decker nor Phillips was wearing a seat belt, according to police.
Cesar, the coroner, said Decker died of “blunt force” injuries.
Phillips was taken by STATCARE air ambulance to University, where she died a few hours later. Dismang’s report indicated she had internal abdominal injuries.
Police said there was “an odor of an alcoholic beverage” at the scene. Dismang’s report showed that Phillips had a blood-alcohol content of .10 percent. In Indiana, a person is considered intoxicated when their BAC is at least .08 percent. Tests results for Decker were incomplete yesterday.
A Corydon man was killed last week in Pennsylvania when he was struck by a car along Interstate 81 near Harrisburg.
Cumberland County (Pa.) Coroner Mike Norris said that Marshall L. (Marty) Caudill was walking on I-81 on Oct. 8 to retrieve a part that fell from a trailer he was hauling.
State police at Carlisle, Pa., said Caudill, 49, had pulled his van hauling a trailer into the center median, walked onto the highway and was struck by one car which threw him into the path of another vehicle. The second vehicle threw Caudill into the passenger side of the van he had been driving.
Caudill was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident near Route 114 at 8:30 p.m.
Caudill was self-employed and was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.
Survivors include his wife, the former Jane M. Anderson; a daughter, Christy Day of Sellersburg; his mother, Wilma Stark Fields of New Albany; four brothers, Michael Caudill of Nicholasville, Ky., Tony and Brian Caudill, both of New Albany, and Jeff Caudill of Jeffersonville; five sisters, Lynn Murphy of Jeffersonville, Geraldine Becht of Sellersburg, Shelia Wheat and Melissa Becht, both of Corydon, and Priscilla Pipes of Lanesville, and two grandchildren.
The funeral was Saturday, Oct. 12, at Seabrook Dieckmann & Naville Funeral Home in New Albany with burial in Hillcrest Cemetery in Floyds Knobs.
The family suggests memorial gifts to the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA).

Decker was a native of New Albany, born April 1, 1979, the son of Dale Decker Jr. of Mauckport and Judy A. Neal Decker of Elizabeth.
Survivors besides his parents include a son, Levi Sidney Decker of Laconia; two sisters, Mindy and April Gibson, both of Elizabeth, and a stepsister, Brittney Hefler of Mauckport.
The funeral was Saturday at Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Home in Corydon with burial in Glenwood Cemetery in Elizabeth. The Rev. Gary Decker officiated.

Phillips was a native of Bedford, born April 12, 1971, the daughter of Thomas H. and Jill D. Wagner Phillips of Jeffersonville.
She was a former public defender with the Clark County courts and was active in animal rights issues.
Survivors include two grandmothers, Vera Wagner and Burnettia Denny, both of Bedford.
Her funeral was Saturday, Oct. 12, at Scott Funeral Home’s North Chapel in Jeffersonville with burial in Walnut Ridge Cemetery.

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