Three taken to hospital after accident involving Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy

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A Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputy was responding to an emergency call, with his lights and sires on in his marked vehicle when a vehicle turned in front of him and he struck the vehicle.

Around 1 p.m. Sunday, Deputy Chad Swank was traveling eastbound on County Road 800 North, approaching County Road 500 East, when he attempted to pass a Jeep Cherokee driven by Claire Shoaf also of Columbus .

While attempting to pass the vehicle, the driver made a left turn to go on to CR 500 East into the path of the deputy.

Deputy Swank tried to avoid the collision, but struck the Jeep in the right rear.

The deputy was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital with a complaint of pain in his hand.

Shoaf and her three year-old son were also transported to Columbus Regional Hospital suffering from what appeared to be very minor injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.


  • David Gates

    People who fail to yield to an emergency vehicle need to be cited and fined the max sentence. We need to send a message to those who ignore our ambulances, our fire trucks, and our police.

    • Shirley

      David has the law changed? The law was, they are asking for the right away, you do NOT have to stop and get over….. that is probably why some don't do it… i didn't know it changed?

      • Bob

        I just took a look at the Indiana Code 9-21-8-35 and it does NOT say, pull over and STOP! Just like the rest of the people on the net, you're only giving half the information. It is telling you the three things you can do and stop was the third! BARTHOLOMEW BMV HANDBOOK which should be for the state, says, "they are asking for the right away". Here's some helpful advice James, if you are going to correct someone, make sure you are right!" I think the question above was asking when did it change? The book I have is less than two years old! This was a question asked also at the BMV!

      • Bob

        before someone corrects me. It was suppose to say, "It does NOT say you MUST pull over and STOP". It gives three different things you can do. I also know someone personally that had the exact accident that was just published and the person won NOT the emergency vehicle!

  • Tracy

    If it is the law then why aren't people getting tickets for it? All the police that have those camera's could easily look at the vehicles that didn't stop and send them a ticket if it was the long. Ever heard of that happening? didn't think so!

  • Jake

    Officers are also supposed to drive with Due Reguard for the safety of the other vehicles on the road. There is a speed, of which I forget, that a police car will out drive its siren. The driver of the Jeep was, likely, not paying attention, but officers are trained to keep that in mind while driving. The big question in my mind is: Did she use her turn signal? The investigation will tell who was ultimately in the wrong. I have reason to believe, both parties had a good hand in the accident.

  • Beth

    Now when it is saying, yield to the right, I can tell you right now the roads where I am there is no way I was going to the right, they aren't cleared off yet! so, there is a little more to this, seriously is it safe to come to a complete stop and have them ram you then! alot to think about with this.

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