Icy road conditions catch drivers unaware
A New Salisbury man remains hospitalized after being struck by a vehicle last Wednesday morning in Corydon as icy road conditions led to several crashes, including the one on S.R. 135 at the Interstate 64 overpass.
Derrick W. Roy, 37, had been driving south on S.R. 135 in the left-hand lane when, about 6:48 a.m., his Toyota Corolla hit the vehicle in front of him, which was driven by Terry L. Smith, 57, of Georgetown, according to Officer Marty McClanahan of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept.
McClanahan said Smith, who is the administrator of the Harrison County Advisory Plan Commission, was slowing down for the icy road conditions on the I-64 overpass and because of traffic ahead of him.
Roy could not get slowed down in time, the officer said, and struck Smith’s Town and Country mini-van in the rear on the overpass.
The men got out of their vehicles to assess the damage and were standing behind Smith’s van when a Ford Ranger pickup, also traveling in the left-hand lane, attempted to stop to avoid a collision with the other two stopped vehicles.
Police said the driver of the Ranger, James R. Barr, 48, New Salisbury, tapped his brakes but was unable to stop. He hit the guard rail and Roy’s car, pushing the Corolla into Smith’s van. Roy was hit in the left leg by his own car, knocking him to the ground near the right lane of traffic, McClanahan said.
Before Roy could be moved to safety, another southbound vehicle, a Ford Mustang driven by Bobby J. Crosky, 24, Sellersburg, drove on the overpass. Police said Crosky tapped his brakes and swerved to the right to avoid hitting the other vehicles and Smith, but struck Roy, who was still laying on the ground.
Crosky told police he did not see Roy, as he was making a split-second decision on avoiding Smith and the vehicles.
About nine minutes later, a Ford Ranger XLT, driven by David A. Kiper, 27, Mt. Washington, Ky., approached the scene, slowing down almost to a stop because he had seen Roy laying in the road, police said. But a vehicle behind Kiper, driven by D. Ajmani, 31, Louisville, couldn’t get stopped and rear-ended Kiper’s vehicle. That impact caused Kiper’s vehicle to sideswipe Melissa R. McAdams’ car and hit the concrete barrier. McAdams, 28, Corydon, was stopped in the right-hand emergency lane.
Ajmani’s vehicle spun around and hit Roy’s car, police said.
Roy was taken by ambulance to Harrison County Hospital in Corydon, where STATCARE air ambulance service transported him to University Hospital in Louisville for head injuries and possible internal injuries, McClanahan said.
Capt. Eric Fischer of the sheriff’s department said the ice formed ‘pretty quick’ that morning.
‘I had a reserve officer who had come through that area about an hour earlier say the road was fine,’ Fischer said. But when these crashes occurred, he said, the overpass was extremely slick.
Several other crashes were reported during the morning last Wednesday, including one near Hayswood Nature Reserve on S.R. 135, involving a semi-tractor trailer, another near the intersection of Pfrimmer’s Chapel and Corydon Ridge roads, and near the S.R. 64-335 intersection.
Now that winter conditions are more likely, Fischer reminds motorists that bridges and overpasses freeze first. Use caution and drive at reduced speeds when road conditions are hazardous, he said.