First Responders Recount Harrowing Scene At Site Of Pileup
2 People Killed, 12 Injured In Crash
9:22 AM, Feb 4, 2009
One person remained in critical condition Wednesday after a pileup along Interstate 69 in Hamilton County that involved 34 vehicles, police said.The highway reopened Tuesday night after 28 cars, five tractor-trailers and a fire truck became entangled during what police called white-out conditions near mile marker 10 Tuesday morning.
First responders recounted on Wednesday what it was like when the first calls began to come in Tuesday morning."A lot of us just started up that way knowing we had a situation. What we didn't know was how large the incident was until we got there and realized the magnitude of it," Fishers Fire Department spokesman Ron Lipps told 6News' Jennifer Carmack. "To have that many crashes at one place and one time, that's pretty darn unusual."FFD, state police and several other agencies converged on the scene, assessing the situation and attending to several people trapped in their vehicles."The first thing was finding out who was seriously hurt and how many, who's hurt but able to hang on for a while and who's not hurt but we need to get them to a place of safety," Lipps said.School buses were used to warm up those who had been pulled from their cars but weren't injured. Buses also transported about 25 people who may have witnessed the pileup to the Fishers Police Department."Yesterday the main thing we needed was personnel, we needed people, and we got that," said Fishers Fire Chief Kenneth Lay.Fishers first responders will go through a debriefing following their experience.Two people were killed in the pileup -- Dustin R. Goettman, 27, and Ryan A. Phillips, 28, both of Anderson -- and 12 others injured, including Donald Hayden, 61, from Michigan, who was last listed in critical but stable condition at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.Preliminary reports from accident scene reconstructionists indicate that drivers were traveling too fast and following too closely for the conditions ahead of Tuesday morning's pileup.