INDIANAPOLIS - A woman is dead after her car crashed into and under the trailer of a semi late Tuesday night in a south-side construction zone.
Indiana State Police (ISP) confirmed that sometime around 11:30 p.m., Suzanne Stocky, 37, of Indianapolis, was killed when her passenger car crashed into the back of a semi in the southbound lanes of Interstate 65 on the south side of Marion County, in the area of I-465 (north of Southport Road). (See map below.)
All southbound lanes were closed after the crash and traffic was diverted onto I-465. As of 4 a.m., ISP said the crash was cleaned up and the roadway was back open.
ISP said a semi tractor and trailer was stopped in the construction zone when Stocky "failed to negotiate the stopped traffic" and drove into the rear of the trailer. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Investigators said they are not sure why Stocky had an issue stopping her car, but the investigation is ongoing.
In previous incidents, RTV6 has learned these types of crashes are usually the result of a weak rear-impact guard. Rear impact guards are required by federal law to prevent serious "underride" crashes, but many are not strong enough to prevent death and serious injuries.
The victim, Stocky, was 37 and had worked at Coburn Place Safe Haven for 4 years. She was recently promoted to volunteer and resource coordinator.
Coburn Place Executive Director Julia Kathary said Stocky's mother is in New York, and Stocky had been traveling back and forth to see her.
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.
“Right now it’s safer to hit a brick wall than to run into the back of a truck,” said Karth. “(The federal government) seems to be taking this very seriously.”
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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