A fiery crash Monday morning in Carmel killed a woman and left a man badly burned and fighting for his life. Six emergency responders were also injured.
According to the Carmel Police Department, the single-vehicle accident happened in the area of Ditch Road and Queens Way before 11 a.m.
Carmel police and fire both responded to the scene.
Upon arriving on scene, crews witnessed the vehicle inverted and on fire. Both of the vehicle’s occupants were quickly extricated from the vehicle.
Police believe the driver lost control for unknown reasons, veered off the road, smashed into a tree before landing on its dude and catching fire.
But it’s not the aftermath or what happened before that is most troubling. It’s what happened during the rescue effort.
When the vehicle caught fire, 75-year-old Jeanne Feasel and 76-year-old William Feasel were trapped inside. Police have not said what their relationship is. Officers tried to rescue them.
Jeanne, the passenger, died at the hospital, while William, the driver, remained in critical condition Monday night.
“They used fire extinguishers and other means trying to get the fire out,” said Lt. Joe Bickel of the Carmel Police Department.
Officers could not get the fire out, making it difficult to reach the two people. Firefighters arrived within minutes but not soon enough.
“It only takes a few seconds to get burned. It was a very, very tragic situation with the crash and then unfortunately the vehicle caught fire at the same time,” said Bickel.
Firefighters were able to put out the flames and crews managed to pull the two people from the car. Nickel says Jeanne went into cardiac arrest at St. Vincent Hospital, where she died. William suffered severe burns and was taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. Authorities on Monday were not sure whether he would survive.
“When you have someone who had a crash and the vehicle is on fire and they’re unable to escape, that is very tragic,” said Bickel.
Four police officers and two fire fighters also suffered minor injuries. Bickel says they’ll make a full recovery, at least physically.
“Sometimes the end result is very tragic even though you put forth an effort to help save lives,” said Bickel.
Accident investigators reconstructed the scene. They’re trying to determine what caused the accident. They believe speed was a factor. There were no witnesses.