Sullivan family thankful after semi plows into house
After a semi-tractor trailer crashed into their living room on Sunday night, a Sullivan family is feeling blessed that no one was more seriously injured.
Around 8 p.m. that evening, Julie Pierce was sitting at her desk in the dining room with her husband Robert in the next room, when she saw the Bennett Frozen Freight Inc. tractor trailer slide off the road.
“I knew the truck was going to wreck. I could see that it was coming off the road,” she said. “I knew something was going to happen, but I just didn’t know where it was going to land.”
Daryl Shorter, 59, Carlisle, was driving northbound on U.S. 41 with Caleb Hancock, 23, Carlisle, when he lost control of the tractor trailer carrying sweet potatoes.
Coming out the east side of the highway and across a 75-foot ravine, “the trailer struck some tree limbs and the semi-tractor then plowed into the living room of the (758 W. Washington St.) residence,” Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom noted.
“(The event is) more real today. I’m very thankful everybody is OK, I’m counting my blessings today because everything I see on the outside and inside of my house is just things,” Pierce added. “Everything can be fixed and put back together as if nothing ever happened.”
“Just weeks prior, the desk she was sitting at, had been in the living room,” Cottom said. “Pierce could have been very easily killed had that desk still been in the living room.”
Cottom noted that rescue teams took 45 minutes to extricate Shorter.
Shorter received numerous lacerations and contusions to his head and chest and suffered internal injuries. He was listed in stable condition as of 3:30 p.m. Monday at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.
Hancock was treated and released later Sunday night from Regional.
Cottom noted that Shorter was driving without a license and his department is awaiting a toxicology report.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department has requested assistance from Indiana State Police, ISP Motor Carrier Enforcement and the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department during the investigation and will forward the findings to the Sullivan County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Carlisle-Haddon Township Fire Department, Thunderbird Fire Protection Territory, Sullivan City Fire Department and Sullivan County Ambulance Transport assisted at the scene.