Officers rescue man from burning vehicle crash


HANCOCK COUNTY — Law enforcement officers rescued a man trapped in his burning vehicle shortly before it was engulfed in flames early Saturday.

In the early morning hours of July 2, 2022, members of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office were sent to the area of 8500 East U.S. 40 for a single-vehicle crash, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Dispatch informed deputies a car crashed, was on fire and people were trapped inside. The vehicle was reportedly westbound on U.S. 40 when it left the roadway and crashed in the grass median.

Deputy Barb Miers of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene to find the engine compartment of the car on fire. She used her fire extinguisher but was unable to put out the fire. The driver’s door of the vehicle was stuck shut.

Sgt. Justin Jackson and Patrolman Blake Crull of the Greenfield Police Department arrived on scene to assist. Together, officers were able to pry open the driver’s door of the vehicle and remove the driver. Officers moved the driver a safe distance away from the vehicle. They then verified that the driver was the only person in the vehicle. Moments after the driver was removed from the vehicle, it became fully engulfed in flames.

The driver was later identified as Jonathan Moncrief, 19, Greenfield. Moncrief was transported by ambulance to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, so medics suspected head and internal trauma.

Deputy Miers followed up with Moncrief at the hospital and he was able to speak, but did not remember much. At latest check, Moncrief was in stable condition at the hospital.

A witness who called 911 to report the crash stated the vehicle Moncrief was driving was driving erratically just before the crash. As of Tuesday afternoon, the investigation was ongoing. Moncrief submitted to a blood sample as part of the routine investigation. It had yet to be confirmed as of Monday afternoon if drugs or alcohol were involved.

The incident was caught on body-cam. However, the footage is not being released at this time until any criminal charges are considered.

The news release credits Deputy Miers, Sgt. Jackson and Patrolman Crull with saving Moncrief’s life.

“If it had not been for their quick actions, Mr. Moncrief would have perished in the vehicle fire,” the release states. “Members of the fire department also did great work treating Mr. Moncrief, extinguishing the fire, and transporting Mr. Moncrief to the hospital.”

The release reminds travelers to drive safely and always wear a seat belt.