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Crashes Halt Westbound Traffic on Indiana Toll Road
Wednesday Jun 14, 2017 3:01pm
96.5 mile marker • Bristol, IN

By: Sheila McCrea

Yesterday westbound traffic came to a standstill due to a crash on the Indiana Toll Road, near the 96.5 mile marker. This mile marker is near the County Road 17 exit.

The first crash happened around 5:30 PM when an UPS semi hauling triple trailers crashed into the rear of a flatbed semi for M&A Transport. The UPS semi, driven by Harry Scott, 65, of Griffith, IN, attempted to change lanes to pass the flatbed semi driven by Jaime Casa, 69, of Cicero, IL. Scott was unable to complete the lane change and ran into the rear of the flatbed semi. This caused the UPS semi to roll onto its side, blocking all westbound lanes.

Scott was transported from the scene by ambulance and was treated and released. He was cited in this crash. Casa was not injured.

A second chain reaction crash happened nearly fifteen minutes later due to the backed up traffic. A Fed Ex semi pulling double trailers, driven by Eugene Pikula, 51, of Illinois, approached the stopped traffic. The Fed Ex semi was being followed by a gray pickup truck towing an asphalt trailer driven by Bartley Jennings, 32, of Elkhart, IN. As both vehicles slowed, a third semi for Mercer Transportation, driven by Steven Fuller, 63, of Michigan, swerved to the right shoulder to avoid a crash and came to a stop. This was followed by a third semi for Advanced Transportation. This semi was driven by Gerald Banks, 37, of Illinois. Banks was unable to avoid a collision and ran into the back of the pickup and trailer, causing it to jack-knife into the back of the Fed Ex semi. Banks’ semi continued onto the right shoulder and crashed into the semi for Mercer Transportation.

Banks was entrapped in his semi and was transported to Elkhart General for non-life threatening injuries. None of the other drivers were injured. Traffic was backed up for nearly four hours while both crash scenes were cleared. Alcohol or drugs are not suspected in either of these crashes. Both crash investigations are ongoing.

Studies show that the likelihood of a secondary crash increase by 2% for every minute that traffic is backed up.


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