Tribune staff reports

A truck driver from Perry County sustained serious injuries in a wreck involving four semitrailers and a van Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 65 south of Seymour, police report.

Charles W. Burton, 28, of Tell City, was trapped in his 1998 Kenworth semitrailer and had to be freed by Seymour firefighters before being flown to University of Louisville Hospital by a PHI medical helicopter for treatment of serious injuries, Sgt. Stephen Wheeles said.

The wreck, reported shortly after 4 p.m., left the southbound lanes of the interstate closed in the area of the 48-mile marker for nearly three hours for a crash investigation and cleanup, said Wheeles, public information officer for the Indiana State Police Versailles Post.

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Burton was injured when he failed to slow for traffic stopped by an earlier vehicle fire at the 41-mile marker and ran into rear of a 2015 Ford van driven by Michael E. Kleitz, 38, of New Albany, according to Trooper Matt Holley’s report. The impact forced the van off the road where it overturned.

At the time, troopers — displaying emergency lights — were sitting at the rear of the backed-up traffic, police said.

After hitting the van, Burton’s truck continued south and hit the rear of a 2012 Kenworth semitrailer being driven by Darrel R. Ashby, 66, of Lebanon, Virginia.

The impact of that crash forced Ashby’s truck into the rear of a 2017 Mack truck being driven by Victor Jones, 54, of Clarksville, Tennessee.

Jones’ vehicle was then pushed into a 2015 Freightliner semitrailer driven by Larry S. Grover, 50, of Harrison, Michigan.

All of the other drivers were treated and released at the scene by personnel with Jackson County Emergency Medical Services.

Officers with the Seymour Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Department assisted with controlling southbound traffic, which was diverted onto Tipton Street in Seymour to be routed south on U.S. 31 to Uniontown and back onto the interstate.

Crews from 31 Wrecker Service in Seymour helped with the cleanup, which included raising a trailer off the front of the cab of Burton’s truck.