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Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office News Release - July 9, 2012
The Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office responded to an accident with injury in the area of State Road 65 and Nisbet Road at approximately 6:23am today. The deputies responding were advised a semi tractor trailer side-swiped a passenger car. The semi trailer was reported to be on its side and the cab on fire. When the deputies arrived, they found the semi cab to be fully engulfed in flames. The driver of the semi, Richard Martin Cutlip, was able to climb from the cab and reach safety. The driver of the passenger car, Ronda Kay Stratton, was still in her vehicle, however her injuries were minor. Mr. Cutlip and Ms. Stratton were both transported to Deaconess Hospital for evaluation.
Mr. Cutlip stated to deputies that he was driving southbound on S.R. 65 delivering plastic products to a local business. Mr. Cutlip stated he was unfamiliar with the roads in the area and when he approached the curve at Nisbet Road, he was traveling too fast to negotiate the curve. Mr. Cutlip stated when he drove through the curve, the trailer started to tip due to the weight of the cargo, approximately 34,000 pounds of plastic polymer. Mr. Cutlip stated he was unable to control the vehicle and it turned over in the roadway, hitting Ms. Stratton's vehicle.
Ms. Stratton stated to deputies she was traveling northbound on S.R. 65 when she observed the semi trailer come around the curve and the driver losing control of the truck. Ms Stratton stated she tried to avoid the trailer as it started to tip over, however, her vehicle side-swiped the trailer causing her to drive off the roadway.
The accident caused S.R. 65 to be closed for approximately 7 hours for the clean-up of the semi-cab and removal of the cargo in the trailer. Deputies do not believe alcohol or drugs played a part in the crash. The investigation is ongoing.
Richard Martin Cutlip
w/m 42 years of age
Ronda Kay Stratton
w/f 53 years of age