GreeneStreets. Feature photo of a back country road in Greene County, Indiana. Courtesy of Nick Schneider.

Driver entrapped and seriously injured in spring crash accused of drunk driving

A driver who was trapped and suffered serious injuries in a one-vehicle crash east of Bloomfield this spring is now facing criminal charges involving operating a vehicle while intoxicated at close to three times the legal limit.

Nathan E. Dickens, 35, of Bloomington, was driving a black 1990 Chevrolet C-15 pickup truck when the crash occurred close to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26.

The crash has been under investigation by Greene County Sheriff’s Detective Shawn Cullison.

Dickens was westbound on State Road 54 at Ray Road when he veered off the north or right side of the road, went down into a ditch then struck a large tree before the truck rolled over onto its side.

Another driver who had been traveling behind Dickens since Carmichael Road, a distance of about six miles, called the Greene County Sheriff’s Department to report the crash.

Fire personnel were already on the scene trying to treat the driver when GCSD Deputy Harvey Holt arrived.

Holt immediately called for a tow truck to secure the truck and attempt to roll it over so they could extract the driver.

Det. Cullison said Dickens was unconscious and unresponsive. He was bleeding from his head and his breathing was shallow. He was trapped in his seatbelt and his arms were outside the vehicle, underneath the driver’s door area.

The witness who had been traveling behind Dickens said the truck had been weaving and at times was entirely in the wrong lane for about 200 feet then would use the right turn signal to signal a return back into the westbound lane.

The witness said the vehicle was going about 45 mph then it accelerated to about 60 mph going into the curve near Ray Road.

The truck left the north side of the road but the driver corrected back onto the road then veered off the road again, that time going into the ditch.

Due to the extent of his injuries, once the driver was extracted, he was air lifted from the scene to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis.

In late June, Det. Cullison received medical records for Dickens. Test results from a blood sample, taken at Eskenazi Hospital around midnight, showed Dickens had a blood-alcohol concentration of .235 which is close to three times the legal limit.

A criminal case was filed against Dickens last week.

He is being summoned to appear in Greene Superior Court in August for an initial hearing when he will be formally charged with:

  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, a Class A misdemeanor,
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor, and
  • Operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent to .15 or more, a Class A misdemeanor.