Semi underride crash backs up eastbound I-465 on SW side

INDIANAPOLIS - A driver was taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after a car crashed into and under the trailer of a semi.

Police said sometime after 6 a.m., a car crashed into the back of the semi on eastbound Interstate 465 near Mann Road on the southwest side of Indianapolis. (See map below.)

Indiana State Police (ISP) said Donald J. Cooper, 23, of Indianapolis, had been driving his passenger car east as the semi was also driving east.

ISP said the semi was going roughly 45 to 50 miles per hour in the right lane with its emergency lights flashing. The driver said he was attempting to pull his semi over to check on a possible mechanical problem.

Witnesses told ISP that Cooper was swerving his car in and out of traffic and driving faster than the posted speed limit, and that's when he crashed into the back of the semi.

The Mann Road entrance to I-465 East was shut down for roughly 3 hours after the crash. Cooper was taken to Eskenazi Health in serious condition.

Our crew on the scene said the impact of the crash knocked off the semi trailer's rear-crash guard. Indiana State Police troopers who spoke with RTV6's Julie Pursley said the crash guard probably prevented the car from going even farther under the trailer, which is its purpose.

There was also another crash soon after the first one, but this one was on westbound I-465 in the same area.

Just a few weeks ago, a driver was killed when her car barreled into the back of a semi.

Watch RTV6 and check back here for updates.

REAR-CRASH GUARD ISSUES PREVIOUSLY IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney has been researching and reporting on underride crashes for sometime now.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says 260 people are killed a year from cars crashing into the back of semi trailers.

Just last month, Kenney learned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has initiated a rulemaking process to evaluate options for enhancing the safety of rear impact guards on big trucks.

The decision by NHTSA comes in response to a petition from Marianne Karth, who lost two daughters in an underride crash, and the Truck Safety Coalition.

A three-month investigation by the Call 6 Investigators revealed federal standards for underride guards may not be enough to keep motorists safe. Read more about that investigation here.

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