Truck Driver Rescues Drunk Driver In Construction Zone

PENDLETON, IN ( (Source: Indiana State Police) — Monday evening, a Pendleton woman who tested four times the legal limit of .08% B.A.C. crashed into a sand filled dump truck in a construction zone on I-69.  Just after 10:30 p.m. last evening Indiana State Police Sergeant Scott Jarvis was sitting in the passing lane of I-69 at the 217 mile marker, just south of the Pendleton exit, with his emergency lights activated in front of a message board telling motorists the left lane was closed ahead for a slow moving construction zone.

A few hundred yards in front of Jarvis, also in the passing lane, were two trucks pulling arrow boards directing motorists into the right lane. The second truck pulling an arrow board was a sand filled dump truck, with a special crash bumper on the rear of the truck, guarding the workers who were out in front of the truck sealing cracks in the roadway.

Jarvis was watching his rear view mirror when he saw a car approaching at a high rate of speed in the closed left lane. Jarvis had to take evasive action to avoid being hit, swerving to the left as the approaching car swerved right just missing his police car.

After passing Jarvis the car continued north, missing the first arrow board truck but swerving back into the left lane crashing into the second arrow board and sand filled dump truck. The truck and its special crash bumper did its job, as it stopped the car before it could hit the workers just ahead.

Jarvis reached the crashed car and found the driver, Rachel Whited, age 30 of Pendleton, was uninjured but showing signs of impairment. Further investigation by Jarvis found that Whited had four times the legal limit of alcohol in her system, testing .32% B.A.C. She was lodged in the Madison County Jail for Operating While Intoxicated, Endangerment, with further charges possible pending review by the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office.

Indiana law requires motorists to slow down and move over for emergency and service vehicles, including construction trucks.  Jarvis added “It is unfortunate that despite all the signage, police lights, and other lighting at a construction zone, that workers have to rely on a “crash truck” to keep them safe; however the truck served its purpose last night and kept the workers from being injured or possibly killed.”

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