LAWRENCE COUNTY ZEPHYR TOP 6 OUT OF 12 NEWS STORIES 2022
LAWRENCE COUNTY - DECEMBER 29, 2022 - The top six out of twelve news stories from the Lawrence County Zephyr include in this series of reflection throughout 2022. Six more top news stories will be released later Friday afternoon. Then, on Saturday a Photo review of 2022 will be released.
April 2022 - Retired Indiana State Trooper Arrested Over the Weekend Leaving Scene of Accident
A retired Indiana State Trooper Russell "Rusty" Garrison, 53, Bedford was arrested over the weekend for leaving the scene of an accident and driving while intoxicated.
Garrison was driving a vehicle owned by the Clark County Sheriff's Department.
According to the Lawrence County Police report at 1:53 p.m. on Friday an Indian Creek Volunteer firefighter reported that a red color SUV struck a telephone pole in the 5100 block of State Road 450. The vehicle left the scene and continued traveling towards Bedford.
The vehicle struck the pole with enough force causing it to break and fall unto the roadway.
While responding to the incident, Lawrence Central dispatch received a report the vehicle was located at Revere's gas station. Officers located the vehicle and with Garrison in the driver's seat of the vehicle. The vehicle had heavy front-end damage.
Garrison agreed to a field sobriety test at the scene. However, Garrison did not agree to do a blood draw at the hospital. A search warrant was applied for, and Judge Nathan Nikirk issued a search warrant.
Garrison was medically cleared from the IU Health Hospital and then transported to the Lawrence County Jail.
Garrison was previously arrested for domestic battery and charges against him was dropped following a motion by the State of Indiana to drop the charges back in November 2021.
Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer granted the motion to dismiss the charges without prejudice on his previous domestic battery charges.
Update: Pre-trial conference has been scheduled for January 9, 2023 with Special Judge Williams Sleva presiding. Garrison is being represented by Joseph Lozano and the case prosecuted by Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II.
OCTOBER - 2022 -Two Seriously Injured on Brown Station Road Sunday Morning -
Two people were flown to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis following a traffic accident on Brown Station Road Sunday morning.
A single vehicle accident car verses tree on Erie Church Road Sunday morning sent two accident victims to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis
The call reporting the single vehicle accident came in at 12:34 a.m. after a neighbor heard the crash. The accident occurred in the 3700 block of Erie Church Road with a car striking a tree.
At the time of the accident there were no ambulances available in Lawrence County or surrounding counties.
IU Lifeline Air Ambulance arriving at the landing zone before any ground ambulances have reached the accident scene. It took over 45 minutes before the first ambulance to arrive. Two IU Lifeline Helicopters were dispatched.
Fire officials said the impact of the accident was tremendous with the motor of the vehicle some 40 feet from the crash site. Names of the accident victims or complete details of the accident have not yet been released from the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department.
Emergency personnel were on the scene for several hours to investigate the accident and clean-up the accident site.
Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, Bedford Fire Department, Shawswick Volunteer Fire Department, Pleasant Run Township Volunteer Fire Department, IU Lifeline ground ambulance, IU Lifeline Air Ambulance, and Mikels Towing was assisted at the scene.
NOVEMBER 2022 - Two Airlifted Following Traffic Accident Indiana State Road 446 and Indiana State Road 58 East
At least two accident victims were airlifted to trauma centers following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Indiana State Road 446 and Indiana State Road 58 near Heltonville.
A total of three people were injured in the accident. One of the accident victims was a seven-year-old patient.
The 911 call reporting the accident came in at 4:51 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
There were reports that one vehicle rolled over several times. Bedford Fire Department had to extricate an accident victim from one of the vehicles at the scene.
Stat-Flight helicopter landed at the Heltonville Ball Park to transport that patient to the University of Louisville Hospital.
The two patients were transported to IU Bloomington Hospital were one of the accident victims was then airlifted to a trauma center.
Emergency personnel from the Pleasant Run Township Volunteer Fire Department, Shawswick Volunteer Fire Department, Bedford Fire Department, IU Lifeline Ambulance Bedford, and IU Lifeline Ambulance Bloomington, Stat- Flight helicopter, and Stone City Collision responded to the scene.
Indiana State Road 446 and Indiana State Road 58 intersection was closed for several minutes while emergency crews worked the accident scene.
At this time an accident report is unavailable, and details of the accident is unclear.
The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department accident team is investigating the accident.
SEPTEMBER - 2022 - Former Bedford Police Captain Morgan Lee Sentenced For Misconduct and Battery
Former Bedford Police Officer Morgan Lee pled guilty to Official misconduct by a public servant, and battery by a plea agreement in Lawrence County Superior Court I. The charge of strangulation was dismissed.
Former Bedford Police Captain Morgan Lee
Lee was sentenced by Judge John Plummer III in Lawrence County Superior Court I, on a suspended sentence of 365 day in jail with one day credit, 363 days suspended, and will remain on supervised probation and 50 hours of community service.
A special prosecutor, Chris Gaal, was assigned to the case. Lee was represented by Attorney Edward J. Merchant from the law firm of Ruckelshaus Kautzman Blackwell who represents police officers and firefighters.
According to Indiana State Police, the incident occurred on January 8, 2021, when Lee threw a male to the ground and choked him. The male stated that officer Lee pushed him up against the ground with his throat between his hand and the floor.
The male suffered contusions on the back of his head. A video was taken of the incident. The male was not arrested following the incident.
On January 8, 2021, at 12:08 a.m. Bedford Police received a 911 call reporting a domestic dispute at 510 H Street in Bedford. Captain Morgan Lee, Sgt. Chase Hamiliton, and Officer Clay Blackburn responded to the call.
On August 4, 2021, the Indiana State Police investigator was contacted by the victim's attorney Timothy Sledd saying the incident was captured on security video outside of the victim's home. That video showed the victim wrapping his bleeding finger with paper towels. Officer Lee walked into the victim's home and stands to the right side of the kitchen countertop. Dialogue between Officer Lee and the victim is audible on the video. Lee lunges towards the victim's chest. Lee pushes the victim backwards and towards the refrigerator.
The victim can be heard saying " What are you going to do beat me in my own (expletive) house," Officer Lee then pushes the male victim's down to the kitchen floor. While on the floor with Lee on top of him, the male's victim's hands are visible out to his side. The male is heard saying " Choke me out as long as you (expletive)" Lee then gets off the male.
The Indiana State Police investigator then met with Bedford Police Department Chief Terry Moore who provided the investigator with additional information including Lee's body camera and interview with the officers involved.
The investigator reviewed the statements and camera footage.
Based on the investigation, the investigator found probable cause to arrest Lee for battery while acting in the performance of his official duties as a public servant, did knowingly or intentionally in a rude, insolent or anger manner apply pressure to the throat or neck of a male in a manner to impeded normal breathing or blood circulation.
Lee submitted his resignation to the Bedford Board of Works after the Board of Works recommended his termination.
This would make two former Bedford Police officers who signed a plea agreement this year, in criminal cases filed in Lawrence County Superior Court I.
Sgt. Jeremy Crane was arrested in April on two Level - 6 Felony charges of official misconduct by a public servant. The felony charge of official misconduct by a public official was dismissed.
Former Bedford Police Sgt. Jeremy Crane
In Crane's plea deal he pled guilty to false informing a Class B Misdemeanor. Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge Plummer accepted Crane's plea deal and sentenced Crane to 182 days in jail and suspended his sentence to six months of supervised probation.
The case was assigned to Special Prosecutor Thomas Owen for the State of Indiana.
Crane represented by Attorneys Michael Allen and Timothy Sledd.
His case was investigated by Indiana State Police Organized Crime and Corruption Unit. Crane created and submitted a written report on October 3, 2020, that included false information about the collection of methamphetamines.
After Bedford Police Chief Terry Moore became suspicious about the report, Moore requested Indiana State Police Organized Crimes Corruption Unit to investigate the incident.
Although against Bedford Police Department policy to unlock vehicles, Sgt. Crane agreed to unlock a vehicle when a woman asked Crane to unlock a vehicle after the woman claimed her boyfriend was still using meth and wanted the police to arrest him.
When unlocking the vehicle Crane and the woman located the meth. The woman did not want him arrested until later so she could move to Florida. On October 3, 2020, the woman called Bedford Police Department reporting finding the drugs. And on the same day Crane generated the report. Sgt. Crane knew the information was false and violated Bedford Police Department policy by unlocking the locked van without a search warrant.
Crane resigned from Bedford Police Department in June 2021.
JULY 2022 - Man Injured When Fireworks Explodes In His Hands
A man was injured after a firework exploded in his hand Sunday night. The incident took place at a private residence in Lakeside Estates Mobile Home Park in Mitchell.
(A man was injured after a firework exploded in his hand. He was transported to the University of Louisville, KY by STAT Flight Helicopter)
Due to his injuries the man was transported from the scene to a landing zone to an waiting STAT Flight Helicopter to transport him to University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, KY.
Due to the nature of the call Emergency Medical personnel from the Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department immediately requested a air ambulance. The ambulance was dispatched from Orange County due to no available ambulances in Lawrence County.
Emergency Personnel transport a man to a landing zone off of Doc Hamiliton Blvd. Sunday night
The call reporting the incident came in 10:18 p.m. The incident took place around the same time of the Mitchell Fireworks which hampered emergency personnel in getting to the incident location, due to traffic congestion.
According to reports the man suffered an injury to his hand and minor burns to his chest and face.
Mitchell Police Department, Mitchell Fire Department, IU Lifeline Orange County EMS, Marion Township Volunteer Fire Department, and Lawrence County Sheriff's Department responded to the incident.
OCTOBER 2022 - Fatal Crash Being Investigated Indiana State Road 60 East and Noe Road
Update: Indiana State Road 60 East and Noe Road is now open following a fatal crash at the intersection. It took emergency crews several hours to investigate and clean up the accident scene.
Details of the accident will be released later by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department pending notification of family.
Original story: Lawrence County Sheriff's Department is investigating a fatal crash at the intersection of Indiana State Road 60 East and Noe Road.
The accident involves a dump truck and and Sports Utility Vehicle. At this time no other details of the accident are being released until notification of family members can be made.
The accident was reported at 11:23 a.m. with reports of a person trapped in a vehicle.
Emergency crews from the Bedford Fire Department, Marion Township Volunteer Fire Department, IU Lifeline Ambulance Service, Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and AirEvac Air Ambulance was originally dispatched to the scene.
The air ambulance was canceled while enroute to the scene and was not needed.
At this time State Road 60 and Noe Road intersection is closed to traffic while the accident is being investigated.