Recently in Auto Accidents Category

April 15, 2014

Indiana Father and Two Children Killed in a Vehicle Accident on Interstate 65

Recently, an Indiana father and two of his children were killed in one of many crashes on southbound Interstate 65, caused in part by recent snowfall.

deformed-fence-3540-m.jpgThe father, a 45-year old doctor from Rensselaer, and his son and daughter were killed at 11:39 pm, three miles south of the Roselawn exit. His second son survived the crash and was later taken to Jasper County Hospital, having suffered broken bones. This was the same hospital where the father had been on staff.

The events of the crash began two hours earlier, when a semi truck rolled over in the southbound lanes of Interstate 65. The semi was being driven by a 57-year old from Wapakoneta, Ohio, and was filled with nitric acid. The driver had crashed into a median, jackknifed, and came to a rest on the driver's side, causing the nitric acid to spill. The driver and responding Indiana state trooper were both taken to a local hospital due to exposure to nitric acid fumes. Both were later released, and the police did not suspect drugs or alcohol of playing a role.

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March 20, 2014

Two Kentucky High School Students Killed in Car Accident On the Way Home From Sweet 16 Tournament

Recently, two classmates from a Christian County High School were killed in a car accident while on their way home from the Boys Sweet 16 state basketball tournament in Lexington, where they had gone to watch a local high school team.

i-haul-299523-m.jpgThe accident occurred in the early evening, after the boys' Nissan pickup truck left the parkway and struck the rear end of a Freightliner tractor trailer that was parked on the westbound shoulder. One boy, age 16, died at the scene, while the other boy, age 17, was taken by helicopter to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he died hours later. The other male passengers in the truck were taken to the University of Kentucky as well by ambulance. While one remained in the hospital, the driver of the pickup truck was released.

Initial reports do not show any signs that alcohol or drug use played a role in the accident. Nor could witnesses recall that the truck was swerving or otherwise being driven in a reckless manner. When the truck came toward the tractor trailer, it may have either drifted or turned in its direction quickly. Authorities will soon conduct an accident reconstruction that they hope will shed light on how the accident occurred. The reconstruction team has already downloaded the data recorded that had been stored in the truck's internal computer to learn more information.

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March 6, 2014

Indiana Lawmaker and His Daughter Injured in a Car Accident

Recently, an Indiana lawmaker and his daughter got involved in a car accident on Ohio Street in downtown Indianapolis. Fortunately, neither was seriously hurt.

sirens-13324-m.jpgThe accident occurred on a weekday evening, when Representative David Niezgodski of South Bend was driving his Cadillac STS sedan with his 23 year old daughter, Rachael, when they suffered a broadside, right-angled collision known as a "T-bone." The other car was a Kia Sorento SUV headed south on Capital Avenue.

While the other driver, a 24-year old woman from Indianapolis, was uninjured and treated at the scene, Niezgodski and his daughter needed to be pulled from their car by the Indianapolis Fire Department. It reportedly took 15 minutes to extract Niezgodski's daughter from the car. The Niezgodskis were then taken to the nearby Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition.

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February 4, 2014

Winter Accidents Continue As Sudden Whiteout on Indiana's Interstate 94 Leaves 3 Dead, 20 Injured

Soon after the Interstate 65 accident happened, one of the most severe car accidents in Indiana history took place, also the result of unprecedented winter weather the past month.

snow-1336027-m.jpgInterstate 94 in northern Indiana became the scene of vehicle wrecks a mile long, the result of a chain reaction that included four dozen cars, among them several tractor trailers. In the end, three people were killed and two dozen were injured. The accidents were attributed to whiteout conditions that swept into the area during the afternoon commute. The burst of heavy lake-effect snow dropped one to two inches of snow per hour and reduced visibility to less than a quarter of a mile. Just 20 minutes earlier, state workers had plowed and salted the interstate, but the change in conditions rendered those efforts moot. The conditions took commuters by surprise, and within less than one minute, dozens of vehicles were colliding into each other.

Conditions were so poor that the crew of volunteer firefighters could not even see many of the cars that had been hit. Many were crushed between semi-trailers and so stuck to the other vehicles that it was tough for rescue workers to differentiate them. Despite the heavy snow, though, many of the vehicles were burning.

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January 28, 2014

Heavy Snow Conditions Lead to 30 Vehicle Collisions on Interstate 65 in Indiana

Recently, heavy snow on Interstate 65 near Lafayette, Indiana led to conditions where 13 vehicles, including nine that were semi trailers, crashed. They were followed by several smaller car collisions. In total, as many as 30 vehicles are thought to have crashed in a relatively short amount of time.

snowy-road-1415295-m.jpgAt the time these collisions occurred, there might have been as many as four inches of snow on the ground. Winds were blowing at nine miles per hour, and with the fog and snowfall, there was just three-quarters of a mile of visibility.

The resulting crash does not appear to have resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, but did tie up traffic in both directions, forcing the interstate to close for several hours. Firefighters were called to put out the flames surrounding a couple of semi trailers.

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January 21, 2014

Kentucky Legislators to Consider Bill That Creates "Cell Phone Free" Zones

Kentucky state legislators are considering adopting a law that would ban drivers from using cell phones near schools and in highway work zones. Although the state already has bans on cell phone use for drivers age 18 and younger, and bans texting for drivers of all ages, Kentucky legislators want to make the existing laws even tougher. Governor Beshear has called for the state to adopt "no cell phone zones."

busy-woman-1070268-m.jpgLegislatures were moved to action based on a story involving a horrific accident on Labor Day in 2007. Hillary Coltharp, age 26, made the mistake of trying to respond to a text while driving. As a result, she lost control of her car while driving on Highway 24 in McCracken County and suffered a crash. Her car crossed the median and rolled three times before she was thrown 75 feet from her car. She landed on her head and suffered severe brain trauma, a skull fracture, a collapsed lung, and broken bones. Coltharp was not wearing a seat belt. She was just four miles away from meeting her family at a restaurant for dinner.

While Coltharp survived the accident, she spent five years in and out of hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. Her parents have made her story public in their attempt to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family.

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December 23, 2013

Indiana Man Survives Crashing Car and Wrapping It Around a Tree

Recently, Indiana emergency responders spent two hours freeing a man trapped inside his wrecked car while near a ravine. Fortunately, the man survived.

crash-car-1-748020-m.jpgThe incident began when the 47-year-old driver was traveling along Old Indiana 25 near Tippecanoe County Road 500 North. He was moving southbound when his car partially ran off the side of the road. The driver then overcorrected by shifting his car too far to the left, then veered right. As a result, witnesses say that his car tumbled down the side of the road, smashing into trees, before rolling to a stop and wrapping around a tree.

Witnesses believe that the man was still alive after the crash due to the slow "cartwheel" his car did down the side. Once he was spotted, a local couple climbed down to the ravine, where they found the driver alert and coherent, but physically trapped. Only his head was visible due to the car's position near the tree. Although the driver had a cut above his eye, he did not appear in serious danger of losing blood. The couple stayed with the driver and did their best to keep him calm until an emergency crew from the Buck Creek Volunteer Fire Department came. Emergency crew members could not tell which part of the car was the front end or back end, and needed to contact the fire departments in Lafayette and Battle Ground for assistance.

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December 17, 2013

Indiana Man Struck and Killed Hours After Getting Married

In recent tragic news, an Indiana man who had been married just hours earlier got killed when he tried to help a stranded motorist. The stranded motorist was also killed in the accident.

wedding-cake-933687-m.jpgThe groom and bride were driving to their hotel from the wedding reception along 109th Avenue in Crown Point, Indiana just before midnight. There, they saw that a car had skidded off of the snowy road into a ditch along the side. The groom parked in a driveway and went to help the stranded motorist. He had just helped her up the steep embankment when a car driving eastbound struck both of them, as well as the next two cars after that. No citations were issued to any of the drivers, and investigators at the scene did not find anything to suggest that alcohol or drugs were a factor.

The groom was a U.S. Army Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division for 12 years, whose tours of duty included Desert Storm. He was known for being a generous person who would stop and help anyone, regardless of the circumstances. He leaves behind his bride, two daughters, and a step-daughter and step-son. The stranded motorist was a popular teacher at a local school who was known for her commitment to education and for using technology to promote learning.

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December 10, 2013

Indiana Man Arrested After Hitting a Car and Then Fleeing in a Semi Truck

An Indianapolis man has been arrested and faces charges after first rear ending a vehicle, then attempting to escape by hitching a ride on a semi truck.

truck-delivery-1042539-m.jpgIn the early morning on Sunday, law enforcement was called to the scene on the report of a hit and run accident on Interstate 65 heading northbound. According to witnesses, a 2005 Dodge truck was speeding along at 100 miles per hour when it rear ended the other vehicle. Soon after, the 47-year old driver of the truck and his passenger left the scene of the accident and got into a semi truck that was stopped nearby. A witness tried to warn the semi truck driver to leave the two men, but when he did not listen, the witness contacted the police. The police pulled over the semi truck, and the driver explained that he thought the driver and passenger were in need of medical assistance.

The driver reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.16, twice the legal limit of intoxication in Indiana. He allegedly tried to hitch a ride with several cars before the semi truck finally pulled over. Meanwhile, the driver and passenger of the other car were taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life threatening.

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November 6, 2013

Indiana Bar Owner and Bar Tender Charged With Serving Alcohol to Underaged Drinkers Before Their Deaths

The owner of a bar in Armstrong County and his bartender waived their right to preliminary hearings and will likely file pleas in a case where they have been charged with serving alcohol to minors. Larry Pompelia, owner of The Final Score Saloon, and Karly Ann Good, the bartender, allegedly served three men who were younger than the legal age, prior to their pickup truck plunging into a pond, resulting in their deaths.

beer-glass-1252046-m.jpgThe three friends, who were 19 and 20 years of age, were headed to a party when the 19-year old driver became disoriented while driving his truck up a steep hill, which then overturned in a muddy overflow pond, just after midnight. Pompelia and Good were later charged with two misdemeanors for selling alcohol to minors. Pompelia waived a hearing on separate charges involving tampering with evidence, where Pompelia allegedly erased video footage that showed the three men drinking at The Final Score Saloon.

Both Pompelia and Good may have plea bargain deals in the works that would allow at least one of them to be admitted into Indiana's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for non-violent first-time criminal offenders. Those enrolled in the program do not need to enter a guilty plea, and whoever successfully completes the probationary period can petition to have his or her record expunged.

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October 23, 2013

Three People Die in Indiana After Their Truck Collides With an Oncoming Train

Recently, three people died in Vigo County, Indiana after a train crashed into their truck as they tried to cross the tracks. The three Illinois natives were 30, 24, and 20 years old respectively.

railway-tracks-1428076-m.jpgThe accident occurred around two o'clock in the morning, when a northbound train struck the vehicle at the intersection of Gallagher Road and Rio Grande. Vigo County Sheriff's deputies later found that two of the individuals had been ejected and pinned under the truck. Now the question is what caused the accident.

Authorities have noted that the flashing lights and gates were working at the time of the accident. Some evidence has been found that the truck was traveling at a high speed, and containers of alcohol were found in the vehicle. While it is too early to determine whether alcohol was an important factor, authorities have already determined another one, which is that none of the individuals was wearing a seatbelt. Further investigation, including from the train's black box, will reveal whether the train engineer bears any responsibility for the collision.

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October 15, 2013

Jury Selected for Case Involving an Indiana Police Officer Who Killed a Motorcyclist While On Duty

A jury has been selected in Fort Wayne, Indiana for a trial involving a state police officer accused of crashing into two motorcycles with his car while intoxicated.

crash-car-1-748020-m.jpgIn 2010, while rushing to help catch a suspect, David Bisard of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department slammed his police cruiser into a pair of motorcycles, killing one rider and injuring two others. He had allegedly been driving on East 56th Street at speeds as high as 73 miles per hour, and his blood alcohol level was later found to be .19, more than twice the legal limit.

Since then, Bisard has been charged with six felony counts, including operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level higher than .15. He was suspended from the police department, although attempts to have his driver's license suspended were unsuccessful.

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September 23, 2013

Two Kentucky Men Killed After Pulling Over to Help Those Involved in a Car Accident

Recently, a scenario that one never hopes to see happened: two good samaritans were killed while trying to help other people injured in a car accident.

car-accident-1-774604-m.jpgThe accident took place in the morning on Interstate 64 Westbound near Shelbyville. Two semi-trucks got into an accident with multiple passenger cars, though none suffered injuries. After they pulled over to the side, two drivers who witnessed the accident came by and offered to help. They pulled their cars over to the shoulder to the left of the fast lane, and within moments of getting out, were struck by an approaching semi-truck. The semi-truck was allegedly trying to avoid the accident when it veered to the left, struck the guard rail, and ran along the shoulder.

In a situation like this, it is difficult to sort out who is the most at fault. Kentucky has a law known as the "Good Samaritan Law" (KRS 411.148) that offers protection to those who attempt to administer aid to someone in distress. However, it only extends to those who are already licensed to deal with emergency situations (such as nurses), and who administer the treatment without expecting compensation. Furthermore, the Good Samaritan Law protects the good samaritan from liability only, should the treatment go wrong. It does not give the good samaritan the right to make a claim if he or she gets injured while offering emergency aid. In general, an individual has no duty to rescue other individuals in distress unless that person is an emergency worker or a common carrier with a duty to rescue its patrons.

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September 16, 2013

Indiana Woman Dies After Speeding Car Crashes Through Metal Fence, Lands in Lake George

A woman died recently in Hobart, Indiana, after crashing her car through a metal gate and landing in Lake George.

lake-george-211920-m.jpgWitnesses who travelled behind the woman, 83 years old, noticed that she was speeding and driving erratically as she traveled down Route 130 and Route 51. She would weave in and out of traffic, and racing through red stoplights at up to 60 miles per hour.
At some point after the woman reached downtown Hobart, she "went airborne" at the top of a hill and her car smashed through a metal gate that separated the town from Lake George. Her car eventually landed in the lake, 50 feet from the edge, where the water was 10 feet high. Witnesses dove into the murky lake after her and spent 10 minutes working to pull the woman out, during which time they sustained injuries from broken glass. The Hobart Fire Department treated her at the scene and she was then transported to St. Mary Medical Center, where she later died. Lake County divers also spent more than one hour working to pull the car from the lake.

Despite her erratic driving, the woman managed to avoid causing injuries or fatalities. One witness speculated that her behavior might have been due to a medical condition, or possibly due to a broken accelerator. The age and condition of her vehicle prior to the crash is unknown.

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September 10, 2013

Two Missouri Men Killed in a Speed Boat Accident on Kentucky's Lake Cumberland

This past weekend, two men from Missouri were killed in a speed boat accident in southern Kentucky. They were driving a high-powered speed boat on Lake Cumberland when, unexpectedly, the boat flipped over, throwing both men into the water. Their bodies were retrieved one hour later. Investigators attributed the accident to driver error.

The driver apparently was new to boat-water-trail-1343298-m.jpgspeed boating and was described by friends as an enthusiast. The two men were participating in an event known as the Lake Cumberland Power Run, which supposedly combined "the raw fury of over 150 of the country's meanest and fastest powerboats with the fun and energy of Mardi Gras." Yet the driver's inexperience may have led him to underestimate the potential speed of the boat he was powering. A Kentucky Fish and Wildlife investigator noted that the boat's top speed may have been as high as 100 miles per hour. When both men were ejected, the driver suffered blunt force trauma to the head, while the other man suffered blunt force trauma to his abdomen and lower extremities.

Despite the deadliness of boat accidents, not nearly as much attention is given to boat safety as car safety. In Kentucky, someone operating a boat unsupervised is required to get an education certificate in boat safety only if that person is between the ages of 12 and 17 and only if the motorized boat has more than 10 horsepower. The state's DMV encourages those who don't fall within the age range to get an education certificate anyway, but does not require it. Therefore, a Kentucky resident of the driver's age, with his level of experience, would not be required to obtain any sort of training prior to operating a high-speed boat. Instead, the only requirement is that the boat must be registered.

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