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INDOT snowplow driver injured in I-65 crash with accused drunk driver

A damaged Chevrolet minivan sits at the scene of a crash involving a snowplow on I-65 in Jasper County on Feb. 24, 2022. (Photo Provided/Indiana State Police)

JASPER COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) — The driver of an Indiana Department of Transportation snowplow was injured in a crash Thursday night with a man police say was driving drunk.

Just after 8 p.m., state troopers were called to a crash involving a snowplow and a minivan on southbound I-65 in Jasper County, about four miles north of the Fair Oaks exit.

Indiana State Police say the snowplow was plowing in the left lanes, with its amber lights flashing, when it was rear-ended at a high rate of speed by a silver Chevrolet minivan.

A state trooper spoke to the driver of the minivan, O’mar Jones, 34, of Huntsville, Ala., and could smell alcohol on his breath, according to ISP. The trooper also found an open container of vodka inside the minivan.

Jones told the state trooper he was hurt and was transported to Franciscan Health Hospital in Rensselaer for treatment. While at the hospital, Jones consented to a blood draw chemical test for intoxication, the results of which are pending.

After being cleared by doctors, Jones was transported to the Jasper County Jail. He faces preliminary misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle without ever having obtained a license and two counts of operating while intoxicated.

The driver of the snowplow was transported to Franciscan Health Hospital in Rensselaer with non-life-threatening injuries.

Drivers should slow down when they see a snowplow and give them plenty of room, say Indiana State Police. Snowplows travel at reduced speeds to remove snow from the roadway and spread salt.