A Metamora man, Billy J. Craig, 54, escaped serious injury in a collision Monday afternoon in the 700 block of South SR 3.
Craig was northbound when he crossed the centerline and struck the rear axle of a southbound tractor-trailer.
“I saw him coming as he crested the hill. I kept looking at him thinking that he would look up and cut back into his lane but that did not happen. So, I just steered for the ditch to get out of his way. I did not want to hit head-on,” the driver of the tractor-trailer, Mark Conover, 45,of New Vienna, Ohio, said.
Conover’s quick decision to leave the road and enter a west side ditch may have saved the Metamora man’s life.
“He hit me a ton on the right axle of the trailer. I thought for a moment we were going to miss each other, I looked into his eyes and he never looked up or hit his brakes,” Conover said.
The Metamora man’s 2007 Mitsubishi Gallant struck the axle of the trailer and bounced off before spinning nearly 90 degrees and coming to a stop.
“I’ve had a lot on my mind today. I lost my wife earlier this morning ans was on my way to meet family members. I don’t really know what happened, I guess I was just in a fog,” Craig told investigating officer Alan Wombolt of the Rushville Police Department.
A family pet in the front passenger seat of Craig’s vehicle died as a result of injuries suffered in the collision.
Craig was wearing seatbelt at the time of the accident and his air bag deployed on impact, safety measures that greatly reduced the severity of his injuries.
Following treatment at the scene by medical personnel from RMH Ambulance for facial lacerations, Craig refused additional medical treatment.
Conover was uninjured.
SR 3 was reduced to a single lane for nearly 60 minutes until being reopened at 3:30 p.m.
Assisting at the scene were units from the RPD, Rush County Sheriff’s Department, Rushville Fire Department, Indiana State Police, Rushville Animal Control and Davis Towing.
Frank Denzler can be contacted at (765) 932-2222 x106