EMTs credited with saving lives of driver, passenger in semi crash

EMTs Katie Warrick (left) and Jason Tibbetts (right) (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two people in a semi that crashed on Interstate 465 Friday afternoon are alive because of two EMTs who were in the right place at the right time.

Indiana State Police troopers were dispatched to the crash on southbound Interstate 465 at the 39.9 mile marker around 12:45 p.m. This is near East 56th Street and Shadeland Avenue. Police say the semi was reported to be on fire.

(Provided Photo/Indianapolis Fire Department)
(Provided Photo/Indianapolis Fire Department)

Preliminary information from Indiana State Police is that the semi driver was southbound on I-465 and dropped something inside of the cab of the semi. When he leaned over to pick it up, he sneezed, lost control, and hit the concrete barrier that divides the Shadeland Avenue/East 56th Street ramp and I-465.

Police say diesel fuel started leaking from the truck, which is suspected to be the cause of the fire. The semi was loaded with non-hazardous auto parts.

Officials say two on duty EMTs–Jason Tibbetts and Katie Warrick–witnessed the crash. They were behind the truck when the crash happened.

Tibbetts and Warrick stopped the ambulance and ran to the cab of the truck. Officials say they broke the driver’s side window, unlocked the door and pulled the man to safety. They then helped the woman out, who said she was asleep in the sleeping compartment of the cab before the crash.

Tibbetts and Warrick tended to both victims at the scene and transported the woman to IU Health Methodist Hospital.

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” Warrick said. “It’s just what I do. And just so happened today somebody needed help more than normal.”

“I’m glad they’re OK,” Tibbetts said. “Very glad they’re OK.”

The tractor was destroyed by the fire, however officials with the Indianapolis Fire Department were able to keep damage to the trailer at a minimum.

All southbound lanes of I-465 were shut down for about 25 minutes while the fire was contained. The left two lanes were then re-opened for travel.


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