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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Accident report released in fiery crash in Judah Friday morning

JUDAH - SEPTEMBER 11, 2023 -On September 8th, at approximately 11:34am, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office responded to a two vehicle, personal injury crash on SR 37 at the intersection of Old 37 in Judah.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Matthew Deckard (42 years old of Bloomington) was northbound on SR 37. At the same time, a 2011 Ford passenger car, driven by Garrett Turner (19 years old of Bedford) was westbound on Old 37, stopped at the light.

According to witnesses, as well as confirmation by examining video footage of a nearby business, the light for northbound SR 37 turned red. Deckard continued through the intersection instead of coming to a stop. Turner, who had apparently received a green light, proceeded into the intersection. His view of northbound traffic was obscured by a large pick up truck next to him in the left turn lane of Old 37. As Turner entered the intersection, the Malibu collided with his vehicle.

The impact caused extensive damage to the driver's side of Turner's Ford, which came to rest in the northbound lanes of SR 37, just north of the intersection. Deckard's Malibu suffered catastrophic damage to the front and caught fire. The Malibu traveled through the median, across the southbound lanes of SR 37, and came to rest off the west side of SR 37, north of the intersection.

Deckard was transported, via ambulance, to IU Health Bloomington. Turner was extricated from his vehicle and airlifted from the scene to an Indianapolis hospital. Per state law in regards to serious bodily injury crashes, blood tests were offered and administered. Toxicology results are pending.

Lawrence County Sgt. Lonnie Johnson was the investigating officer. He was assisted by Sgt. Michael Williams, Detective Sgt. Michael Ramos, Major Andy Blackburn, Chief Deputy Brandon Blackwell, and Sheriff Greg Day. Responding agencies included Oolitic Fire, Marshall Township Fire, Bedford Fire Rescue, IU Health EMS, and StatFlight.


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