Two killed in Indiana 66 collision

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34-year-old in serious condition after four-vehicle crash Monday

By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY - A Tell City man who may have suffered a sudden medical problem died Tuesday from injuries he sustained in a four-vehicle accident that also claimed the life of his passenger.

John Crawford, 68, died at University of Louisville Medical Center. Police said Mary Etta Sheldon, 72, also of Tell City, died shortly after the 3:58 p.m. crash Monday near the intersection of Indiana 66 and Washington Street.

According to Tell City Patrolman Jeff Bender, who is leading the investigation, Crawford was traveling north on Indiana 66 and was approaching the intersection of Washington Street. His van suddenly traveled left of center, colliding with three oncoming vehicles.

First to be hit was a 2003 Ford driven by Laurinda Vanconey, 60, of Cannelton. Crawford's van continued north and struck a 1986 Dodge pickup truck driven by Steven Preston, 48, of Cannelton. Police said that impact sent the van spinning into the path of a 1990 Buick driven by Jessie Ambrose, 20, of Tell City.

The van finally overturned onto its side, coming to rest near the concrete median that divides the north and southbound lanes.

Sheldon, a passenger in Crawford's van, was pronounced dead at Perry County Memorial Hospital at 4:32 p.m. Coroner Darrel Riley said she suffered a severe head injury.

Crawford was flown to Louisville, as was a passenger in Preston's truck, his 34-year-old brother, Chad. He was listed Wednesday in serious condition.

Steven Preston was not seriously injured while Ambrose complained of knee pain and was transported to Perry County Memorial Hospital. Vanconey and the other occupants of her car were not hurt.

Police said all three drivers noticed the van in the wrong lane and tried to avoid a collision. Bender said the investigation will try to determine if Crawford had a medical problem that might have caused him to lose control of the van or to suddenly lose consciousness.

Tell City police officers, sheriff's deputies, Indiana State Police, rescue squad members and Tell City fire and street department members aided Perry County EMS and first responders.