5/22/2018 1:27:00 PM Woman's drowning at Hutsonville investigated Autopsy was scheduled for early today in Terre Haute.
Crawford County Rescue Squad divers prepare to search the Wabash River at the boat ramp in Hutsonville for a vehicle that reportedly drove into the water at the ramp Saturday afternoon. Other CCRS personnel use boats and sonar to try and locate the vehicle in the swiftly-moving murky water. Emergency personnel from around the area and Indiana were called to the scene to assist in the attempted rescue/recovery of the vehicle. (Tom Compton photo)
A Sullivan, Ind., woman with family ties to Hutsonville died after her vehicle went into the Wabash River at the boat ramp in Hutsonville Saturday.
According to initial reports, Barbara Michelle Hightshoe, 56, was traveling east on Cherry Street in Hutsonville shortly after 3:30 p.m. when she drove across the grass and down the embankment onto the boat ramp.
Hightshoe then turned sharply to the right, driving down towards the river on the left side of the ramp. Hightshoe's vehicle, a 2005 Hyundai, entered the water and traveled about 120 feet from the end of the ramp before sinking to the bottom of the Wabash.
Emergency personnel were called to the scene by witnesses, who were able to capture a photo of the vehicle before it submerged. Even with the photograph it took Crawford County Rescue Squad personnel using boats with sonar nearly two hours to locate the vehicle in the 28 feet of swift-moving, murky water.
Highshoe was pronounced dead by Crawford County Coroner Earl Deckard after her body was recovered about 6:35 p.m. Saturday. An autopsy was scheduled for earlier today in Terre Haute.
It was learned after the vehicle was recovered that Hightshoe's dog was also in the vehicle. It died along with her.
Emergency personnel from United Life Care Ambulance Service, Crawford County Rescue Squad, Hutsonville Fire Department, Crawford County Sheriff's Department, Hutsonville Police, Crawford County Emergency Management Agency, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Department of Natural Resources were all on the scene for more than four hours as the vehicle and Hightshoe's body were recovered.
Crawford County Coroner Earl Deckard is in charge of the investigation.