HANCOCK COUNTY – Officials from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said at least one person is dead following a late night crash involving multiple trucks on Interstate-70 Friday night.
First responders were called around 10:40 p.m. Aug. 18 with reports of a car having a flat tire on the interstate. Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a minor crash at the 98mm of westbound I-70 and noted the accident was caused as the result of a vehicle with the flat tire stopped in the right lane.
That minor accident caused a back-up along the interstate which officials say caused a multi-vehicle crash just west of the 100mm. That second crash, involved 3 semi tractor-trailers and a pick-up truck pulling a car hauler trailer.
During the crash one of the trucks struck the rear of the truck in front of it, trapping the driver. When officials from the fire department were able to locate the driver in the wreckage, he was deceased, officials said. The name of the driver has not been released yet.
The crash also displaced the concrete barrier wall in the construction zone. Officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Milestone cruise responded to the scene to repair the wall so traffic could resume.
All eastbound and westbound lanes of I-70 were closed until approximately 6 a.m. (this morning) Saturday, Aug. 19. The extensive closure was due to the complexity and severity of the crash, as well as damage to the barrier wall, officials said.
Additionally, once the scene was clear, it took time to get all drivers who were stuck in the traffic awake. There were three passenger vehicles and one tractor-trailer in the eastbound lanes that needed jumped started after lanes opened, along with three abandoned vehicles that had to be towed.
All drivers involved in the crash were out-of-state, commercial drivers.
The two drivers who survived the crash cooperated with law enforcement and submitted to routine blood test for drug and alcohol.
Officials from the Sheriff’s Department said at this time drugs and alcohol are not suspected to be a factor. The Hancock County Fatal Accident Crash Team is continuing to investigate.
Officers from the multi-jurisdictional FACTeam, Indiana State Police, and fire departments all assisted on the scene.
Officials want to remind everyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle to remain alert while driving and watch for changing traffic conditions ahead. In the event of a delay, they also encourage drivers not to abandon their vehicles on the highway.