3 Rainbows die in auto near Indiana

25 Sep 1993 01:43:23

Three Rainbows die in auto accident near Indiana Regional gathering;
see newspaper story below.

At post time one of the deceased had been identified by relatives and info
released by the Indiana State Police: Jason A. Wagner, 17, of 5927 Beechview,
Indianapolis, IN 46214. Relatives of the other deceased were said to be on the
way to Bloomington for identification.

WARNING ABOUT THE INDIANA 446 "DEADMAN" CURVE: 446 is a principle road
giving access to Hoosier National Forest from Monroe Co. It is most dangerous
for vehicles traveling south to north, because 446 south of the curve is long,
wide, fairly straight, well-maintained, and lightly traveled, tempting
interstate highway lull. With a 35 mph warning and a number of small yellow
signs with black arrows, the "Deadman" curves left marking the start of a
descent toward Lake Monroe. It is the first a series of tight curves on a
narrower roadbed. The maximum highway engineering speed for the curve is about
*one-half* of that on the southern stretch posted for 55.
[From the Bloomington, Indiana _Herald-Times_, September 24, 1993:]

"Deadman" section of Ind. 446 claims more victims
By Jennifer Jill Fowler, HT Staff Writer.

Two women and a man died Thursday afternoon [9-23-93] when the car they
were riding in collided head-on with a Monroe County highway truck carrying
gravel on a deadly Ind. 446 curve.
The driver and a fourth passenger in the car were hospitalized with
injuries. Indiana State Police did not release the names of the dead pending
notification of the families.
The car, a 1990 maroon Chevrolet Cavalier, was traveling north on Ind. 446
at about 1 p.m. when it rounded the curve, went left of the center line and
struck the dump truck.
The driver of the car, identified as Harry Bean, Jr., 19, of Indianapolis,
and a passenger, Jason G. Gammon, 19, of New Hampshire, were admitted to
Bloomington Hospital. Bean was in serious condition and Gammon was in critical
condition late Thursday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The accident occurred in a curve about three miles south of the causeway
that crosses Lake Monroe.
All of the victims had been trapped in the car by the impact and were
freed when rescuers cut the top of the car open.
The dead, who all appeared to be in their early 20s or late teens, died of
internal injuries, according to Monroe County Coroner George Huntington.
Police did not state a cause for the accident, but the drizzling weather
conditions were noted on the accident report written by trooper Kurt Feather of
the Indiana State Police.
A dog also was in the car and was dead at the scene.
The driver of the 1987 International dump truck, Jim Kelley of
Bloomington, said he tried to get out of the way when he saw the car come
around the curve but was unable to avoid the crash.
"They were out of control", said Kelley, 55, just after the accident. "If
they hadn't hit me, they would've gone into the bushes, I wish that would've
Kelley radioed from his truck to the county highway department that he had
been hit, he said.
Kelley, who was delivering gravel to a site on Tower Ridge Road, was not
injured in the wreck.
He said he heard the driver of the car yelling for help as he got out of
his truck. He tried to help the man out, but the car doors were jammed shut,
he said.
The impact had sent the car nose-first into tall grass leading down to a
ditch on the west side of the road.
It stopped with its rear about 2 feet from the road's white fog line.
After Bloomington Hospital Ambulance Service workers, Indiana State
Police, Indiana Conservation police and Bloomington Fire Department
firefighters arrived, the top and sides of the car were opened.
As rescue workers labored to free the victims, a wooden memorial cross
heaped with flowers stood about 30 feet to the south of the wrecked car, a
reminder of another fatal wreck on the treacherous curve.
None of the three passengers who were killed in the wreck had any
identification on them, Huntington said.
The car had only a paper license plate from a dealer in the back window
bearing the date 10-17-93, leaving investigators with no clue as to whom the
car belonged.
Dental records or fingerprints might have to be used to identify the
victims, he said.
Huntington said the driver, Bean, may have picked up two hitchhikers from
out of state. He said it was possible the group was on its way to a Grateful
Dead party below Lake Monroe.
Indiana Conservation police at Paynetown said they do not know of such a
party but said there is an outdoor gathering of people in Norman near the
Lawrence County Line.
The accident site, often labeled "Deadman" by local police, is two curves
twisting into another on the two-lane road.
Seven people have died in the area since 1987.
On Aug. 7, 1987, a 45-year-old Springville woman and her 48-year-old
husband were killed after they both lost control of motorcycles they were
driving about 1/2 mile from Chapel Hill Road.
In 1991 a 60-year-old Jackson County woman also died in a car crash on a
wet day similar to Thursday. The woman had been returning home from College
Mall with her daughter and granddaughter and hit another car head-on near Hays
Cemetery Road on a curve close to "Deadman".
And early one September morning in 1988, a 24-year-old Bedford man who had
just left work at the Bloomington B.F. Goodrich plant was killed on the same
curve after a newspaper delivery truck overturned onto his pickup truck.
The double-yellow lined curve is marked with a warning for motorists [to]
slow to 35 mph.
A state Department of Transportation spokesman told _The Herald-Times_ in
July 1992 that efforts to straighten the curve will begin in 1998. -30-

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