Terre Haute man died in crash allegedly caused by Jasonville man

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Cory Robert Deschamp
Cory R. Deschamp of Jasonville, driving a 2001 Chevrolet pickup, is accused of causing a head-on crash that killed one man early Sunday morning in Owen County. (Photo by OCSD)

A 37-year-old Terre Haute man lost his life in a tragic head-on crash early Sunday morning on State Road 67/US 231 south of Spencer, and a 23-year-old Jasonville man accused of causing the crash has been charged with two felonies and an infraction.

Keith Fennell, the driver of a 1995 Plymouth van, was pronounced dead on the scene. His wife, Jennifer Fennell, 41, a passenger in the van, had to be extricated from the van and was airlifted by an Air Evac air ambulance to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. She suffered life-threatening injuries and was listed in critical condition on Monday.

Cory Robert Deschamp, the driver of the vehicle that hit the Fennell van, was taken into custody and booked in to the Owen County Security Center.

Keith Fennell of Terre Haute was killed and his wife Jennifer critically injured when their 1995 Plymouth van was hit head-on by a pickup truck driven by a Jasonville man. The crash occurred one mile south of Spencer at 6 a.m. Sunday. (Photo by OCSD)

The Fennells were northbound on the highway just after 6 a.m. Sunday when a 2001 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Deschamp, who was southbound, veered, crossed over the center line and hit the Fennell van head-on.

The scene was approximately one mile south of Spencer.

Emergency personnel responding included the Owen County Rescue Team, Owen County Volunteer Fire Department and Owen County EMS in addition to Air Evac and officers from the Owen County Sheriff's Department, Spencer Police Department and Indiana State Police.

The Fennels were trapped in the wreckage and had to be extricated by emergency personnel.

Deschamp refused medical treatment but was transported to IU Health Bloomington Hospital for a blood draw.

Deschamp allegedly told officers he was on his way home after a night of drinking in Bloomington and fell asleep at the wheel.

During an initial hearing Monday afternoon in Owen Circuit Court, Deschamp was charged with: Causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a class C felony; causing serious bodily injury when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, a class D felony; and operation of a motor vehicle without financial responsibility, a class A infraction.

Deschamp's bond was set at $20,000 cash or surety. He was released from jail Monday after a surety bond was posted.

The crash remains under investigation by law enforcement agencies in Owen County assisted by ISP accident reconstructionists, Troopers John Yung and Greg Day.