Local emergency officials stay busy responding to weather-related wrecks

City and county police departments each responded to nearly a dozen winter weather-related accidents Thursday when about 2 inches of snow fell in Jackson County.

Of the wrecks the Indiana State Police responded to in the county, one involved a fatality.

That wreck was reported shortly after 8 a.m. along Interstate 65 at the Jonesville exit.

While driving north near that exit, Gerald E. Brown, 71, of Scottsburg lost control of his 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche on the snow-covered roadway. The truck left the east side of the interstate and hit a light pole head-on, according to a news release from Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police.

R. Carolyn Brown, 70, a passenger in the truck, was pronounced dead at the scene by Jackson County Coroner Mike Bobb.

Gerald Brown was taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour before being transferred to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital Indianapolis. On Thursday, he was in critical but stable condition.

Wheeles said road conditions and speed were believed to be factors in the wreck.

Jackson County Emergency Medical Services and Seymour Fire Department also responded to the scene.

Only one other wreck in the county resulted in a person being taken to the hospital.

Just after 4 a.m. Thursday, a truck ran off the road on U.S. 50 near the Medora junction. The driver complained of hip and leg pain and was transported by ambulance to Schneck, said Lt. Andy Wayman with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

In another wreck, at 9:17 a.m. in the 8000 block of West County Road 225S in Medora, a vehicle left the roadway and became inverted. The occupants were able to get out of the vehicle without injuries, Wayman said.

Most of the 10 other wrecks the county responded to involved vehicles sliding off the road and going into ditches.

Vehicles also were sliding off the road in Seymour, but all of them were reported as property-damage wrecks.

In one report, a truck hit a concrete barrier before striking an unoccupied vehicle. Reports also included a vehicle hitting a fence and a car hitting a stop sign.

Jackson County EMS made 29 weather-related runs between 8 a.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Friday, with six resulting in interhospital transfers, Executive Director Dennis Brasher said. Most of the runs were accidents with no injuries, he added.

With the first significant snow accumulation of the season, Wayman said the same words of advice apply.

“No. 1, give yourself plenty of time if you have to be out on the roads so you don’t have to rush,” he said.

He also said to make sure you keep plenty of space between you and the car in front of you and stay off the brakes.

“When you put the brakes on, that’s generally what causes the car to start to lose traction and causes people to go into a skid,” he said. “That’s why you want to have distance between the car in front of you and anticipate when you are coming to a stop.”

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

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.