Make your home page

Wife dies after fiery crash near Connersville; deputy credited with rescue

A fiery, fatal crash happened about 9 a.m. Oct. 23, 2023, in the 3800 block of Alquina Road, northwest of the rural community of Alquina in eastern Fayette County, Indiana. (Provided Photo/Sheriff Zac Jones)

ALQUINA, Ind. (WISH) — A 66-year-old woman has died after a fiery crash of two SUVs on Monday southeast of Connersville, the Fayette County sheriff said Tuesday.

Connie Smith, of Liberty, was airlifted to a University of Cincinnati Health facility, where she died. Her husband, Harold Smith, 84, and a juvenile passenger in their 2004 Toyota Highlander were taken to Reid Health hospital in Richmond. Harold Smith was in serious condition when taken from the crash scene. The sheriff did not identify the child, who was treated for what the sheriff called serious injuries.

Marcus Parsley, of Connersville, was driving the other SUV, a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer. He was airlifted from the crash scene in serious condition.

Sheriff Zac Jones on Tuesday gave credit to Deputy Joshua Sparks for pulling Harold and Connie Smith to safety from their SUV. The sheriff says the Smiths’ Highlander was not on fire, but was next to the Trailblazer that was ablaze, and the deputy’s efforts may have saved Harold Smith’s life.

“Deputy Sparks’ Guardian Angel flashlight that he wears on his shoulder melted from the heat while he was pulling Connie from the vehicle,” the sheriff told News 8.

The sheriff shared a photo of the melted flashlight with News 8.

The crash happened about 9 a.m. Monday in the 3800 block of Alquina Road. That’s northwest of the rural community of Alquina in eastern Fayette County.

Investigators believe a head-on collision of the two SUVs caused the Trailblazer to become engulfed in flames. Investigators have not yet public shared what may have led to the crash.

Below are provided photos from Fayette County Sheriff Zac Jones