A Minnesota man was seriously injured in a semi crash Friday morning in Bartholomew County. Indiana State Police (ISP) Spokesman Sgt.
Stephen Wheeles says that at approximately 7 a.m., ISP Troopers and Columbus Police Officers responded to a single vehicle crash on southbound I-65 near the 67 mile marker.
Wheeles says that the initial investigation, conducted by Trooper Matt Holley, indicated that the semi, which was pulling a trailer, drove off the west side of the roadway for an unknown reason. He says that the vehicle traveled down an embankment before rolling onto its right side. The semi then reportedly struck a tree head on and came to a stop. Holley says that the force of the collision nearly removed the cab from the frame of the truck.
Investigators say the semi was being driven by 52-year-old Steven A. Rohde, of Grey Eagle, MN. Wheeles says that Rohde was trapped in his vehicle for nearly an hour while the Columbus Fire Department and Columbus Regional EMS worked to free him. Once Rohde was freed from the wreckage, authorities he was flown to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of what are being called “possibly life threatening injuries.”
ISP say that I-65 was reduced to one lane at the scene of the crash for nearly six hours while responders worked to remove approximately 43,000 pounds of french fries from the trailer before the vehicle was removed from the scene. The investigation is ongoing.
ISP and the Columbus Police Department were aided by the Columbus Fire Department, Columbus Regional EMS, 31 Wrecker Service and the Indiana Department of Transportation.