Suspected drunk driver causes fiery crash in Boone County

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BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (November 14, 2014) – Lebanon police suspect alcohol helped cause a fiery crash on I-65 in Boone County, leaving a man in critical condition Friday morning.

Crews were called to the scene of a vehicle fire just after 1:45 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-65 at mile marker 136.

Upon arrival, they found a Chevy Impala's engine fully engulfed in flames but separated from the sedan.

In the cabin, first responders discovered an unconscious man in the rear passenger seat of the car. He was later identified as Carl O. Brown, Jr., 65.

They were able to extricate him and he was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital in critical condition. Lebanon police told FOX59 Brown was about to undergo surgery at 4:45 a.m.

According to witnesses, the car hit the guardrail and bounced back into the northbound lanes.

A semi-truck then hit the car and drove up 3/4 mile from the scene.

The semi was leaking fluids onto the roadway, leading to a more extensive cleanup effort.

The truck driver--Ted A. Whitish, 53, Orrington, Maine--was not injured in the crash, police said.

Lebanon police said the preliminary finding shows alcohol and speed played a role in this crash. Road conditions, which were slippery in some other areas of central Indiana at the time, are not believed to have been a major factor.

All northbound lanes closed at the 136 mile marker while crews cleared up debris. The interstate reopened to traffic around 5 a.m.

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