Two-vehicle crash claims life of North Vernon woman

Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

A Jennings County woman was killed in a Tuesday morning crash. Indiana State Police say that shortly after 8 a.m., a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of County Road 800 North and County Road 1300 East at the Jackson/Jennings County Line resulted in the death of 42-year-old Betty Lou Hicks, of North Vernon.

The initial investigation revealed that an SUV driven by 59-year-old Sharlene R. Whitsell, of Seymour, was traveling eastbound on County Road 800 North when her vehicle entered the intersection into the path of a northbound minivan being driven by Hicks. Authorities believe that Whitsell may have disregarded a stop sign, leading to the crash.

State Police say both vehicles collided in the middle of the intersection before leaving the roadway. Hicks’ vehicle then struck a tree before coming to a stop. She was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Jennings County Coroner’s Office. Whitsell sustained minor injuries in the crash. She was transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour for treatment.

Investigators say that evidence at the scene indicated that Hicks was not wearing a seat-belt.

Toxicology results are pending at this time, however police say that drugs and alcohol are not suspected to be factors in the crash. The investigation is ongoing.