Vehicle crash, fire, sends one to hospital, other to jail

A one-vehicle crash resulted in one Columbus resident being arrested and another flown to an Indianapolis hospital.

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff's Dept.
Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

Judy Jackson, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, says that at 6:43 p.m. on Wednesday, Deputy Terrance Holderness was dispatched to the scene of the crash on County Road 340 East, just south of County Road 650 South. When he arrived, he reported finding the vehicle inverted and engulfed in flames with the driver, 35-year-old Juan Mendez, lying nearby.

Jackson says that other first-responders found Lazaro Hernandez-Moheno, of Mapleton Street, walking in a nearby cornfield. Authorities say that Hernandez-Moheno was a passenger in Mendez’s vehicle. He reportedly told deputies that the pair were traveling north on County Road 340 East when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled several times. Both Mendez and Hernandez-Moheno were able to escape the vehicle before it caught fire.

Jackson says that while neither man suffered from burns or smoke inhalation, Mendez was flown from the scene to Methodist Hospital due to injuries suffered in the accident. She adds that Hernandez-Moheno was not injured but was found to have an outstanding Bartholomew County warrant. He was arrested and held on $5,000 bond.