News and Tribune

October 24, 2012

Vehicle strikes parked prison bus in roadway median

Driver, one inmate suffer injuries

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

FLOYD COUNTY — Two people were injured Wednesday morning when a vehicle drove off of U.S. 150 and struck an unoccupied Indiana Department of Correction bus parked in the median.

Clinton Schmidt, 32, of 5698 Navilleton Road in Floyd Knobs, was traveling westbound in a Dodge passenger car when he hit the bus about 9 a.m., Floyd County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Jeff Topping said. The crash occurred between Old Vincennes Road and Luther Road.

Topping said Schmidt drove the car into the rear of bus, which was parked completely off the roadway, and continued to impact the entire right side of the bus before coming to a stop. The bus had transported seven inmates from Henryville Correctional Facility to conduct clean up along the highway. An inmate who was walking near the bus was struck during the incident, Topping said.

Topping said the inmate suffered a leg injury and was taken back to the prison for medical treatment. Schmidt was transported to Floyd Memorial Hospital for his injuries, including lacerations to his face and left arm.

Topping said neither of the men suffered life-threatening injuries.

Schmidt had recently gotten off work from his job in Jeffersonville, Topping said. He admitted to emergency responders, Topping said, that he had drank a 40-ounce of beer and taken prescription pills, of an undisclosed type, prior to the crash. During a preliminary breath test, Schmidt was found to have a .03 blood alcohol content.

Officers are investigating the possibility that Schmidt had fallen asleep before losing control of the vehicle. Topping said the investigation is continuing pending results of further toxicology reports.

According to court documents, Schmidt was charged in 2000 with possession of a controlled substance and alcohol possession by a minor. In 2005, Schmidt was charged with possession of a controlled substance. The class D felony charge was demoted to an A misdemeanor, to which he plead guilty. Later in 2005, Schmidt was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated — endangering person and operating while intoxicated. He later plead guilty to both charges.

In 2006, Schmidt was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and several other related charges. He pled guilty to the OWI.