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Rumblestrips, More Signs After Fatal I-65 Crash

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August 23,1013 — After a fatality crash that killed seven people last week on Interstate 65 in Jasper County, two state agencies met to increase safety measures for a highway work zone where the crash occurred.

Indiana State Police say the crash last week involved a semi-truck that showed no signs of slowing or averting a 2005 Jeep Cherokee that was sitting in stalled traffic, behind a stopped tractor-trailer, for a highway construction zone.  ISP says Michigan trucker Howard Stratton drove into the back of the Jeep, crushing it into the other tractor-trailer in a crash that killed four people from Merrillville.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesperson Matt Deitchley says INDOT and ISP are responsive to the incident, reviewing it this week despite ample safety precautions already in place at that highway work zone area, “Following the recent accident in the area, INDOT officials met again with Indiana State Police this week to look for additional ways to enhance driver and worker safety in this specific work zone. As a result, State Police are adding patrols and INDOT is adding rumble strips and additional messaging boards. We will continue to monitor this work zone and make additional safety modifications as needed.”

The seven casualties were all family members involving two adult sisters and their uncle along with their four children who were ages seven and younger when rear-ended by the semi-truck.  ISP says that the crash is a result of driver inattention.

INDOT’s Deitchley says, “Since the first day of work on this project, State Police patrols have been present with flashing lights when workers are present. In addition we have electronic messaging boards that are visible to all traffic. The majority of the work on this project is during overnight hours when traffic is not as busy, to limit the number of drivers through our active work zone. In addition we use our social media channels to alert the public of work going on in the area.”

ISP’s investigating Trooper Ricky Raynor says the three vehicles involved remain in State custody until his report is complete, which will take a few more weeks while he awaits search warrants to return from Jasper County for his further review of the vehicles and clues about their operations the night of the crash, August 15, 2013.

Deitchley says, “Safety is always the top priority of INDOT in any work zone.  In this specific work zone for the I-65 resurfacing between US 231 and SR 2 we teamed with the Indiana State Police before the first day of work to ensure drivers would be alerted of our construction zone.”

Funeral services for family members occurred yesterday.  The deceased are:

– Amado Mangual, 49, Merrillville, IN

– Lindsey Williams, 27, Merrillville, IN

– Yazmin Goldman, 5, Merrillville, IN

– Arielle Goldman, 3, Merrillville, IN

– Jamin Osborne, 5, Atlanta, GA

– Jasmin Osborne, 7, Atlanta, GA

– Yvette Williams, 35, Atlanta, GA

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