Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

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January 25, 2014

Man injured in I-74 suicide attempt

Greensburg — GREENSBURG - A Texas man attempting to commit suicide on I-74 was injured when he was struck by a semi-trailer early Saturday.

According to a press release from Decatur County Sheriff Greg Allen, law enforcement personnel received multiple emergency calls indicating an individual was lying in the roadway of I-74 at approximately 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Sheriff’s Deputy Derick Fasnacht and Greensburg Police Sergeant Steve Barnes responded to the calls and arrived at the 135 mile marker of I-74.

Upon arrival, they discovered Joe Louis Zatarain, 60, of San Antonio, Texas, conscious and alert but injured.

Investigators believe Zatarain may have been partially struck by a passing semi-trailer.

Zatarain told police he was attempting to commit suicide due to personal problems.

Witnesses at the scene told police Zatarain was lying in the right lane of the Interstate, next to his vehicle. One semi driver moved to the left lane in order to avoid hitting Zatarain.

Following this, witnesses claim Zatarain left his position in the roadway and returned to his vehicle, turning off his emergency lights. He then returned to where he was previously lying and was likely struck by a portion of a passing semi-trailer that had swerved to avoid the man in the roadway.

Zatarain was initially transported by Decatur County EMS to Decatur County Memorial Hospital for treatment, but was later transferred to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis due to the severity of his injuries, which included a broken arm. His injuries are not expected to be life threatening, according to the Sheriff Department’s Press Release.

The accident remains under investigation.

Sheriff Allen told the Daily News Saturday that Zatarain could face a charge of Criminal Recklessness due to his actions, though charges are not expected to be pursued.

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