The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

July 19, 2009

Fatal wreck claims one on U.S. 231

LOOGOOTEE — A recent high school graduate is dead and his girlfriend has multiple injuries after their truck collided with a semi on U.S. 231 Saturday.

Dustin Ash, 19, Cannelburg, died at the scene of the accident near Truelove Church Road after 2 p.m. Hannah Bartlett, 18, a passenger in Ash’s 2001 Ford Ranger, was airlifted to Deaconess Hospital where she is in fair condition as of Sunday evening.

According to the State Police investigating the accident, Ash was traveling north on U.S. 231 when his truck crossed the center line and hit a 2000 Freightliner semi driven by Alvin Almada, 54, Plainfield, head-on. It is not known why Ash’s truck went into opposing traffic.

After the crash, the semi caught fire. Ash was pronounced dead at the scene by the Martin County Coroner’s office. Bartlett was taken to Memorial Hospital in Jasper for internal injuries and broken bones. She was then taken to Deaconess in Evansville. False reports spread that she had died from her injuries, but proved untrue.

Almada was not injured in the accident. The highway was shut down for four hours while emergency personnel cleaned up the accident.

Ash was a 2009 graduate of Barr-Reeve High School and was working for a Cannelburg construction company. Barr-Reeve Principal Travis Madison said Ash’s death was a shock.

“You always dread those phone calls,” Madison said. “Dustin was a great kid and a great student. You never saw him not get along with anybody at school.

It was tough to hear. I know everyone is looking out for his family.”

Bartlett graduated from Washington High School this spring. She is the daughter of current Washington School Board member Pam Bartlett.

Assisting in the accident investigation were the Martin County Sheriff’s Department, the Haysville Fire Department, Martin County Civil Defense, the Loogootee Fire Department, Jasper Memorial EMS and Martin County Ambulance.

Ash’s obituary is on this site

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