Indiana 46 closed Thursday night after head-on collision during law enforcement vehicle pursuit

An image shows the scene of a multi vehicle crash that occurred on Indiana State Road 69 near the intersection of Curry Pike Thursday, March 16, 2023. – Photo by the Ellettsville Fire Department

Update: The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office sent the following from their report:

“At 10:57 PM Deputy Walls attempted a traffic stop on a Buick LaCrosse headed eastbound on State Road 46 from Smith Pike clocked on RADAR at 95 miles per hour.  Deputy Walls initiated his emergency lights and siren attempting to stop the vehicle but the vehicle disregarded him and continued driving at the same high speeds as before.  After passing Curry Pike, still eastbound on State Road 46 the suspect lost control and crossed over the grass median before striking a westbound Acura ILX head-on.  The suspect vehicle immediately caught fire, however Deputy Walls immediately began efforts to remove the entrapped driver.  The driver of the other vehicle was also entrapped and Deputy Windsor arrived at the scene and promptly started working on getting her out and away from the fire.  Both drivers were removed from their vehicles to safety.

From the time Deputy Walls called out “failure to yield” on the radio to the time of the collision was 60 seconds.  The other driver suffered severe traumatic injuries to her legs and lost consciousness shortly after the crash.  She was flown by helicopter from the scene to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.  The suspect, David Garcia (23), had serious internal injuries as well and was transported by ambulance to IU Health Bloomington Hospital where he was ultimately transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. It is believed Garcia was impaired by alcohol at the time of the crash and results are pending. 

Deputy Walls is filed a probable cause affidavit for Garcia’s arrest for OWI and Resisting Law Enforcement. 

No MCSO deputies or vehicles were injured or damaged in this incident.  State Road 46 was closed during the investigation.  Officers from the Bloomington Police and Ellettsville Police Departments were especially helpful and assisted MCSO with traffic following this incident.”

Earlier story:

Member(s) of law enforcement were in pursuit of a vehicle, which was traveling about 104-miles-per hour on Indiana State Road 46, near the intersection of Curry Pike, when it crashed around 10:58 p.m., according to radio dispatches on the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office frequency. According to other scanner traffic, the car hit another vehicle head-on at over 100 mph.

The driver had failed to yield to a traffic stop, according to MCSO radio dispatches moments before the crash. A deputy could be heard telling a dispatcher there was a personal injury collision.

The first dispatch about the pursuit registered on OpenMHZ at 10.56:52 p.m., and then the dispatch saying the vehicle crashed was at exactly 10.58 p.m., which is about a minute and 8 seconds. Within 21 seconds, at 10.58:21, a deputy said the car was on fire.

The car then caught fire, and responders were unable to extract the driver, according to dispatches. Eventually emergency responders extinguished the fire. The fate of the driver was unclear, and the Bloomingtonian will post updated information when available.

An occupant of another vehicle was also entrapped.

Indiana 46 was closed in both directions from I-69 to at least Curry Pike, as emergency services workers dealt with the crash scene. At least one medical helicopter landed at the scene of the accident to take a person to a hospital. Both the Ellettsville Fire Department and the Monroe Fire Protection District posted on Facebook to say the road was closed. Multiple agencies responded to the crash.

This story will be updated.

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