from staff reports
A woman and her child are in critical condition after a Fulton County two-vehicle crash.
Officers from the Indiana State Police, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department and the Rochester Police Department responded about 1:20 p.m. Tuesday to a crash at U.S. 31 and Olson Road which critically injured two people.
State police say Sheyleena Parker, 22, Rochester, was driving a 1990 Chrysler New Yorker eastbound on Olson Road. Parker stopped for a stop sign at the intersection of U.S. 31, then continued eastbound across the highway.
The Chrysler crossed the southbound lanes, but failed to yield in the median crossover, police allege, and continued to drive across the northbound lanes. The Chrysler was struck in the passenger side by a northbound 2000 International semi-tractor.
The semi-tractor, driven by Michael Jacobson, 54, Plymouth, IN, was pulling a dump trailer loaded with gravel. Jacobson was driving for Stockberger Trucking based in Plymouth.
Parker was transported by ambulance to Woodlawn Hospital in Rochester and later transferred to Memorial Hospital in South Bend to be treated for life-threatening injuries.
Ernest Parker IV, 17 months, Rochester, a passenger in the Chrysler, was flown by Samaritan Helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. He is being treated for life-threatening head injuries.
Jacobson was not injured.
Sheyleena Parker and Jacobson were wearing seat belts. Ernest Parker IV was properly secured in a child safety seat. Master Trooper Shaver believes that the Parker’s use of the seat belt and the child safety seat reduced the severity of their injuries; however, the crash impact was too severe to keep their injuries from being life-threatening.
The crash investigation is ongoing. As of Tuesday night, neither the use of alcohol nor narcotics was suspected as having contributed to the crash.
The northbound lanes of U.S. 31 were closed for approximately two hours during the crash investigation and debris cleanup.