ROSELAWN, Ind. - State police say seven people were killed when a semitrailer slammed into their SUV that was stopped for an Interstate 65 construction zone in rural northwestern Indiana.
Sgt. Tony Slocum says the SUV caught fire in the Thursday night crash and was so badly damaged that emergency crews couldn't immediately confirm how many people were inside.
Slocum says the crash happened when a semitrailer crashed into the SUV, forcing it into the back of a semitrailer that was also stopped for construction zone traffic near the town of Roselawn, about 30 miles south of Gary.
ISP said Steven Crockett, 33, of Union, Ohio, was driving a semi-tractor-trailer north on I-65 near the 230 mile marker, and it was being followed by a Jeep Cherokee.
The Jeep was being driven by Yvette Williams, 35, of Atlanta. ISP said the semi and the Jeep stopped due to a traffic backup when another northbound semi-tractor-trailer (driven by Howard Stratton, 55, of Grand Rapids, Mich.) rear-ended the Jeep, pushing it into the back of the original semi's trailer.
The crash impact ignited a fire that engulfed the Jeep, and also burned the cab and part of the trailer of the second semi. It also burned part of the trailer of the first semi.
ISP said after crews extinguished the fire, they saw two deceased people inside the Jeep, but due to the severity of damage to the vehicle, investigators took it to the Keener Township Fire Department to extricate the deceased individuals inside.
ISP said when they got the Jeep there, they found there were five more bodies inside the car in addition to the two observed at the crash scene. Investigators said there were three adults and four children found inside the car.
Those seven people's identities and ages have been released:
- Amado Mangual, 49, Merrillville, Ind.
- Lindsey Williams, 27, Merrillville, Ind.
- Yazmin Goldman, 5, Merrillville, Ind.
- Arielle Goldman, 3, Merrillville, Ind.
- Jamin Osborne, 5, Atlanta
- Jasmin Osborne, 7, Atlanta
- Yvette Williams, 35, Atlanta
Stratton was taken to a hospital with pain complaints.
ISP said this is an ongoing investigation, but at this point, neither drugs nor alcohol played a factor in the crash.