Two young sisters, ages 3 and 5, their 27-year-old mother from Merryville, their aunt and two cousins were among the seven killed in a tragic, three-vehicle crash Thursday evening, August 15. The accident took place near the treacherous 230 mile stretch in Jasper County. State troopers reported another victim was from Atlanta. Most of those killed were on their way home from Indianapolis when the accident occurred. Families of the seven victims are struggling with the devastating news.
According to a preliminary investigation, a 33-year-old Ohio man was northbound, driving a 2012 Freightliner semi-truck and pulling a box trailer. A Jeep Cherokee was driving directly behind him. When traffic stopped for a construction zone, both the Freightliner and Jeep came to a stop. Another vehicle, a 2007 Volvo semi-truck, also driving north, struck the Jeep from the rear, which in turn rear-ended the trailer pulled by the Freightliner. The impact caused the Jeep to burst into flames. The cab, and parts of the trailers on the Volvo and the Freightliner also caught fire.
A 55-year-old man from Grand Rapids, was treated at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, and released. The driver of the other semi-truck was not injured. Firefighters afterwards reported that there were at least two individuals inside the Jeep; however, a final determination could not be made until the following day.
When the parents of the two little girls called their grandmother the following day, she was inconsolable. She said they had been her reason for living when she had been diagnosed with heart illness two years prior. Now their memories would have to sustain her.
Statistics show automobile and truck accidents cause most deaths in the United States every year. If you or someone you know have experienced a catastrophic injury or death in a car accident, you should consult an expert regarding safety of pedestrians and vehicles on the road, to be informed of your rights and possible compensation for your losses.
Source: suntimes.com, “Family struggles with deaths of girls killed in fiery I-65 crash” Casey Toner, Aug. 17, 2013