INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Police are investigating two separate people being hit and killed on I-465 over the last two days.
ISP Sgt. John Perrine said it was an unfortunate chain of events that led to a driver getting out of his semi on I-465 WB just before the Allisonville Road exit Monday morning.
Perrine said a wheel fell off a semi and came to a stop on I-465. The driver of the semi pulled over and got out of the vehicle. Then, another driver hit the loose tire on the road and lost control.
”That car then goes right along the side of that semi and hits the driver who was standing on the front passenger side of the semi,” Perrine said.
The driver of the semi who was hit was taken to the hospital and later died.
Just about 24 hours earlier, 32-year-old Tyler Stephenson was hit and died on I-465 near the 46th Street exit on the west side of town.
”Either crossing it or walking alone it, we’re not exactly sure yet, but somehow he ended up in the lanes of travel and was struck by a car,” Perrine said.
Both cases show the dangers of being stalled on the interstate, especially if you’re outside of your vehicle.
”Any time you’re sitting on the side of the highway you are putting a lot of trust and faith into all of the other thousands of other divers,” Perrine said.
Perrine advises to only get out in an absolute emergency. If not, then stay put and stay buckled.
”It only takes the blink of an eye for somebody to become distracted, drive over the sideline by just a few inches and cause a collision with the vehicle there,” Perrine said.
Even if you think you can fix the issue yourself or can just hike to the nearest gas station – Perrine suggests you call a professional, like roadside assistance, a trooper or a Hoosier Helper.
Hoosier Helpers, like Sam Hudson, are a free service through INDOT and Geico that responds to people stranded on the side of the highway.
” All of our tools we may use are right here,” Hudson said, pointing at his truck with “Hoosier Helpers” on the side of it. “We have our five gallons of gasoline, we have five gallons of diesel.”
At the very least, a Hoosier Helper can put flashing lights and their big trucks between you and fast-moving traffic.
”Usually you don’t have any kind of emergency lighting and traffic tends to not get over as quick for just a vehicle because it’s harder to see, especially without the emergency lighting,” Hudson said.
As traffic picks up for the holidays, Perrine doesn’t want drivers to forget one of the newest Indiana state laws.
“If someone is moved over to the side of the road with their flashers on, you must move over just as if it’s an emergency vehicle,” he said.
Before you hit the road for holiday travel, state police have a list of items you should have in your car in case of emergency. Perrine suggests a phone charger, blanket, bottled water, snacks, flashlight and any tools you might need to help fix issues along the way.