Teen’s frightening crash prompts safety upgrades at Boone County intersection

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BOONE COUNTY, Ind. – Less than two months after a teen nearly died in a crash, new safety precautions are in place at a Boone County intersection.

In March, 17-year-old Mateline Shelton was involved in a crash at State Road 32 and State Road 75, not far from Western Boone Jr/Sr High School.

Her family said it’s a miracle that she survived the crash and credited first responders with saving her life.

“I’ve been with the department almost 20 years and I bet I’ve been there 20-30 times probably,” said Josh Ford, a volunteer firefighter with the Advance Fire Department.

Ford and a police officer who arrived at the scene immediately started CPR on Mateline, who didn’t have a pulse.

Ford said people often go too fast in the area.

“Just slow down,” he said. “It’s 45 right here. We all speed, we all drive a little fast sometimes. It’s only 45 right here and the high school is right there. You’ve got a lot of teenage drivers.”

New safety improvements include rumble strips, “stop ahead” signs on incoming roads and portable speed radar signs.

Boone County sheriff’s deputies hope the changes will get drivers to slow down in the area. The community wanted the upgrades.

“There was definitely outcry from the public and the community around here, of course, the people that live around here see these types of things happen in an intersection like this,” said Deputy Wesley Garst with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“The young lady inside there got very badly hurt, lungs collapsed coded on the scene, so thank God we had some law enforcement officers to get here quick enough,” Garst said.

Even with the improvements, the intersection will not get a stop light.

“They did traffic studies and unfortunately, the traffic studies show that this intersection doesn’t meet those requirements that would require a stop light,” Garst said.

Eventually, permanent electronic speed radars will replace the temporary ones.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Office, lawmakers and school officials all worked together to quickly make the upgrades.

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