Driver Arrested on Numerous Charges After Causing Serious Crash

This crash remains under investigation


Ripley County-Yesterday evening, January 7th, Troopers from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post began investigating a crash with serious injuries that resulted in one driver being jailed on numerous charges.

The initial investigation by Trooper Sam Simpkins indicated that shortly before 10:00 pm, a white 2007 GMC Acadia, driven by Justin S. Palmer, age 25, Milan, Indiana, was traveling eastbound on State Road 48 at the intersection of State Road 129 in northern Ripley County.  Palmer’s vehicle entered State Road 129 into the path of a southbound 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche, being driven by James M. Ratliff, age 36, Milan, Indiana.  Ratliff’s vehicle collided with the driver’s side of Palmer’s vehicle in the intersection.  Ratliff’s vehicle overturned as a result of the collision. 

Ratliff and Palmer were both transported to Margaret Mary Hospital in Batesville, Indiana with non-life threatening injuries.  A passenger in Ratliff’s vehicle, Megan L. Hountz, age 35, Milan, Indiana became entrapped when the vehicle overturned.  She was transported by medical helicopter to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.  Four juveniles in Ratliff’s vehicle were also transported to Margaret Mary Hospital for treatment of injuries.

Justin Palmer showed signs of being intoxicated during the crash investigation.  As a result, he was arrested and transported to the Ripley County Jail on charges of Operating While Being a Habitual Traffic Violator, Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Bodily Injury, and Operating While Intoxicated with a Prior Conviction.  He was incarcerated pending an initial appearance in court.

The investigation is ongoing.  The Indiana State Police-Versailles Post Crash Reconstruction Team responded to the scene to reconstruct the crash.  Toxicology results are pending at this time.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department, Batesville Police Department, Ripley County EMS, Delaware Fire Department, Napoleon Fire Department, and Buckley’s Wrecker Service.

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