Distracted tractor-trailer driver blamed in crash that killed 24-year-old Indianapolis man

Police: Driver reached down to get lens

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ind. - A distracted tractor-trailer driver struck a car stopped in the emergency lane of Interstate 74 early Saturday, killing a 24-year-old passenger, police said.

The crash happened just before 8 a.m. on I-74 eastbound near the 31 mile marker in Montgomery County.

A Chevrolet Impala was stopped on the side of the highway as passengers changed drivers when tractor-trailer driver Max M. Jackson, 38, of Beech Grove, told police the lens of his glasses fell to the floor.

When he reached down, he veered right and struck the Impala, police said.

Hugh H. Guild Jr., 24, of Indianapolis, had just left the back seat to take over driving duties, police said. He was killed.

The original driver, Christopher W. Jensen, 21, of Nebraska, was not back in vehicle and was not injured, along with backseat passenger Kentrell L. Vertner, 27, also of Nebraska.

The front-seat passenger, Sheldon P. Nez, 21, of Arizona, was taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis with non-life-threatening head injuries.

Jackson had not been cited in the crash Saturday night.

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