ISP Troopers credited with saving Charlestown woman's life - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

ISP Troopers credited with saving Charlestown woman's life

Posted: Updated:
The van Malinda Miller-Bell was driving. The van Malinda Miller-Bell was driving.
Trooper Wheeles Trooper Wheeles

JACKSON COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - Some quick thinking by three Indiana State Police Troopers and an everyday item you've used to change a flat are credited for saving the life of a Charlestown, Indiana woman.

Malinda Miller-Bell, 51, found herself trapped, barely able to breath, after a wreck on Interstate 65 in Jackson County Sunday morning. She is stable condition at University of Louisville hospital. From her hospital room, her son Shawn Bell said he is grateful for the ISP Troopers who helped her.

Miller-Bell was driving a mini van north on I-65 around 8 a.m. when Trooper Stephen Wheeles said she was distracted near the Jackson/Bartholomew County line. She crossed the center median, hit the car driven by 89 year-old Vernon Thack before rolling over several times. The van finally stopped in the grass next to the southbound lanes of the interstate.

Trooper Wheeles was only five miles away when the call came in. He was first on scene. When he got near the van, he could hear Miller-Bell crying for help. "I knew she was conscious and alert. I wanted to get where I could talk to her and let her know I was there. We were there to help her."


But he didn't know how long it would stay that way, so he grabbed a baton with a metal end to break the glass of the windshield. He said it was the only way to get to her. "The vehicle was on it's passenger side and she was laying on the ground on that passenger side with her head actually trapped under the vehicle. It was between the vehicle and the ground."

By that point, Troopers Brent Lykins and Korry Clark were there to help. Trooper Wheeles told them to get their jacks. "This was a situation where we kind of had to improvise. I was trying to think of what possibly we had in our possession that we normally carry in our cars that would help us. A jack was obviously the first thing I thought of."

It gave Miller-Bell enough space to breath until firefighters could get her out, get her to the hospital where she is expected to be okay.

Miller-Bell's 15 year-old son was also ejected from the vehicle, but is also expected to be okay. Trooper Wheeles said both were not wearing seat belts and should consider themselves lucky that their injuries were not worse.

Trooper Wheeles said it's a good lesson for everyone out there about distracted driving. Just taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can lead to a wreck just like the one he dealt with Sunday.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Only On 3

    4-year-old boy banned from local doughnut shop

    4-year-old boy banned from local doughnut shop

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:55:12 GMT
    Kids say the darndest things, but one local inquisitive 4-year-old boy asked a question that got him banned from a Monroe doughnut shop.More >>
    Kids say the darndest things, but one local inquisitive 4-year-old boy asked a question that got him banned from a Monroe doughnut shop.More >>
  • Lawsuit: Princeton BMC doctors amputated man's genitals without prior warning

    Lawsuit: Princeton BMC doctors amputated man's genitals without prior warning

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:56:38 GMT
    A Jefferson County man is suing his doctors and a local hospital, alleging that he went in for a circumcision but when he woke up, doctors had amputated his genitals.More >>
    A Jefferson County man is suing his doctors and a local hospital, alleging that he went in for a circumcision but when he woke up, doctors had amputated his genitals.More >>
  • Are Louisville food trucks making the grade?

    Are Louisville food trucks making the grade?

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-07-24 03:06:24 GMT
    WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter Eric Flack's investigation into food trucks last summer was one of his most talked about stories in years. His undercover video and health department interviews stirred a fiery response. Now, a new report about food truck safety has been released by the Institute for Justice, and it's good news for the industry and food truck operators.More >>
    WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter Eric Flack's investigation into food trucks last summer was one of his most talked about stories in years. His undercover video and health department interviews stirred a fiery response. Now, a new report about food truck safety has been released by the Institute for Justice, and it's good news for the industry and food truck operators.

    More >>