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New Albany Police: 1 dead, 2 injured following Tuesday car crash

The crash took place at the New Albany Plaza, a shopping center, leaving one person dead and two injured.
Indiana State Police
The crash took place at the New Albany Plaza, a shopping center, leaving one person dead and two injured.

A car crash in New Albany Tuesday has left one person dead and two injured, according to a statement from local police.

New Albany Police Department Chief Todd Bailey said in the statement that an officer attempted to stop the driver of a silver Dodge Challenger at the intersection of State Street and Clay Street after receiving reports of reckless driving. Bailey said the driver did not stop. 

“The officer reported the vehicle had fled and noted he was not going to pursue, based on the circumstances,” Bailey wrote in the statement.

Indiana State Police are investigating the crash. In a release, ISP Sgt. Carey Huls said that soon after the Challenger allegedly sped away, it hit a white Toyota Highlander at the New Albany Plaza shopping center. After hitting the Highlander, the Challenger continued into a parking lot, where it collided with a parked bus before coming to a stop. Soon after, the car caught fire.

Police say the officer who originally tried to initiate the traffic stop arrived on the scene quickly following the crash and was able to pull the driver of the Challenger from the vehicle.

Huls said responders could not get the passenger out before the Challenger caught fire. The passenger died on the scene. Police have not released the names of the driver and passenger. 

The driver was transported to the University of Louisville hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Huls.

Huls said the occupant of the white Highlander, Gwendolyn Hartman, 60, of Georgetown, Ind., was taken to University of Louisville Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

The New Albany Fire Department responded to the fire and was able to get the flames under control. State street was closed to traffic for several hours while emergency crews cleared debris. 

“The Indiana State Police are working both the Criminal Case and Crash Reconstruction at the request of the NAPD in conjunction with the NAPD Criminal Investigations Division,” NAPD Chief Bailey said.

“This crash is still under investigation, and investigators will conduct interviews and review any video as they piece together all pertinent information from the time of the initial attempted traffic stop until the time of the crash,” Huls said.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.