Saturday morning, law enforcement agencies and first repsonders from across Vigo County turned their attention to I-70 West, as several fatal crashes occurred. According to Sgt. Matt Ames with the Indiana State Police, the first crash happened just before 10 a.m. near mile marker 11, with a total of seven vehicles involved.
“A commercial motor vehicle failed to recognize that traffic was slowing in front of him and of course with that happening, that commercial motor vehicle ran into the rear end of an SUV pulling a RV, and then at that time hit a passenger vehicle,” Ames said.
That crash claimed the life of a driver of one of the passenger vehicles and caused major traffic backups along I-70 West.
Around noon, near the 17 mile marker, Ames says another fatal wreck took place after a semi-truck didn’t notice upcoming traffic while they were picking up a sandwich that had fell on the floor.
This caused the driver to hit another semi which was sitting in traffic and ultimately killed the passenger of the distracted semi. Devin McGinnis, who was near the accident describes what he saw during this time.
“I look back in my rear-view mirror and there’s a huge fire behind me and it’s getting closer and about two seconds later, not even, I see this semi over here rush past me and into the ditch and it’s on fire. The semi sprayed oil onto my car over there and my car is on fire,” McGinnis said.
With two accidents happening involving distracted driving, Ames says paying attention to the roads could save your life and someone else’s.
“Put down your cell phones. We ask for you to just be looking through your windshields and seeing what’s going on in front of you. Make sure you’re checking your side-view mirrors on a regular basis and looking in your rear-view mirror so you know what’s going on,” Ames said.
Ames also tells drivers when you see troopers with their lights on, that means that traffic is beginning to slow in front of you.
A report from the fatal accident reconstruction team will be sent to the prosecutors office to determine any criminal charge for those involved in the first crash. Ames says he does not expect charges for anyone in the second crash.