Impaired Driver Ejected from Vehicle

On Saturday night February 13 at approximately 9:50, Indiana State Police and Clay County emergency agencies responded to a one-vehicle crash on US 40 near County Road 650 West. The crash ejected the driver resulting in critical injuries, injured an adult passenger, and slightly injured an eight month old infant.

 

Preliminary investigation revealed a gold 2000 Honda passenger car, driven by 43-year-old Edward Ray Willis Jr. of Terre Haute, IN., was westbound on US 40 near CR 650 W. For an unknown reason, the Honda traveled across both the median and eastbound lanes, rolled over, and ultimately struck a group of trees. During the rollover, Willis was ejected and trapped under the vehicle. His female front seat passenger, 31-year-old, Nicole M. Mendez of Harmony, IN., was trapped in the vehicle for approximately 30 minutes. Willis and Mendez were both extricated by members of the Posey Township and Lost Creek Township Fire/Rescue Departments.

 

Willis was transported by ground to Terre Haute Regional Hospital in what is believed to be critical condition with head and chest injuries. Willis also tested .28% BAC. Nicole Mendez was airlifted to Terre Haute Regional Hospital for severe lacerations. Mendez’s eight month old daughter was also transported to Terre Haute Regional Hospital for what is believed to be a minor head wound. Her child safety seat undoubtedly prevented more serious injuries, as did the seatbelt worn by her mother.

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