Fortville woman killed in multi-vehicle crash

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HANCOCK COUNTY — Officials from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department say a Fortville woman was killed in a crash.

Officials from the Sheriff’s Department say that at about 11:15 a.m. Friday, Hancock County Sheriff’s Department members were called to Ind. 234 and CR 50W in Fortville for a multiple-vehicle crash.

Deputies arrived on scene and called for the Hancock County Fatal Accident Crash Team F.A.C. Team to respond due to the severity of the crash.

The crash involved a 2019 Ford Escape and a 2004 Chevy Aveo. The Chevy was occupied by one female driver, who died at the scene. The Ford was occupied by one female driver who was transported to Methodist Hospital by law enforcement for non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Chevy has been identified as Lavonne Barber, 81, Fortville, who was pronounced deceased at the scene. She was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Her family has been notified of her death.

The driver of the Ford has been identified as Melinda Newby, 45, Centerville, who has cooperated with the investigation. She was transported by law enforcement to Methodist Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. She was also wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Officials say the Ford was traveling east on Ind. 234 toward Wilkinson. The Chevy was traveling north on CR 50W toward Fortville. A witness remained on scene and provided law enforcement with a statement.

From evidence at the scene, it appears the Chevy failed to come to a complete stop at the intersection of Ind. 234 and CR 50W before continuing northbound on CR 50W. The Ford had the right of way and did not have a stop sign.

Officials say that drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors at this time. The investigation is ongoing. The area was closed for about two hours while officers from the Hancock County Fatal Accident Crash Team investigated.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone to always wear safety belts while in a vehicle and remain vigilant while behind the wheel.

Members of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Fortville Police Department, Greenfield Police Department, and Vernon Township Fire Department all assisted at the scene.