Woman who was airlifted warns of dangerous intersection

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) – In the past year and a half, there have been eight crashes including two fatalities at an intersection on the Hoosier Heartland, just outside of Delphi.

“I had blood on the brain. I had two broken ribs. I had degloving on my hand, which is caused by the airbags,” said Carol Clawson.

The list of injuries goes on and on for Clawson. In November, she was involved in a car crash near Delphi on the Hoosier Heartland at County Road 800 West or Dayton Road.

“I crossed the first two lanes of traffic and stopped in the middle and I looked — but I didn’t see the guy coming and I T-boned him. It was my fault,” said Clawson.

Clawson had to be airlifted from the scene to a hospital to St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital. But she wasn’t the first person who had to be airlifted from that intersection, and she wouldn’t be the last.

Delphi Fire Chief Darrell Sterrett said the department responded to one fatal crash last year, plus three personal injury crashes involving 11 people — two who had to be airlifted. So far this year, the department has responded to another crash with a fatality and three more personal injury crashes, involving 12 people with three people needing to be airlifted. He said it has become the department’s most dangerous intersection.

“That’s the only common denominator that we’re seeing is that people heading south on 800 West are not stopping at the intersection,” said Sterrett.

Sterrett said the 60-mile per hour speed limit on the new highway has played a factor. He said the crashes are different from the crashes the department responded to on Old State Road 25.

“They were off-the-road or head-on crashes, which are still formidable, but you don’t have the side impact crashes that we’re seeing on the Heartland. It’s just sort of a different animal that we’re having to deal with on a routine basis,” said Sterrett.

Clawson said she now looks both ways three times each. She encourages other drivers to do the same.

“It is very dangerous and the traffic goes really, really fast. The road’s kind of at an angle, so it’s really hard to see sometimes,” said Clawson.

County Commissioner Pat Clawson said county officials have made contact with the Indiana Department of Transportation. He said they would like to see rumble strips and lighted signs be added to the intersection.

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