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Two Killed in Wrong-Way Crash on 41


A man and a woman are dead following a wrong-way crash on Highway 41. 

Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear has identified the two victims as 79-year-old Karl Bechtel of Newburgh and 56-year-old Judy Pharris of Vincennes.

Bechtel died at the scene of the head-on collision at Highway 41 and Baseline Road Monday evening.

Lockyear said Pharris died Tuesday at Deaconess Midtown Hospital.

The sheriff’s office initially said Pharris’ injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Lockyear said she died of multiple blunt force trauma.

An autopsy is scheduled Wednesday for Bechtel.  

In a release, Sheriff’s Colonel Noah Robinson said a preliminary investigation indicated a southbound SUV driven by Pharris crossed the grass median “for unknown reasons” and collided with the pickup driven by Bechtel.

Drugs or alcohol were not believed to have been a factor.

The crash forced authorities to shut down 41 between Inglefield Rd and Baseline Rd for more than three hours Monday evening.