Two people died within hours of each other in eerily similar but separate crashes, about 2 1/2 miles apart, on Interstate 65 Thursday, Jan. 13.
Teresa A. Oliver, 45, of Lafayette, was dead at the scene of the second crash, about 1:55 p.m. just north of the Ind. 334 interchange. She was driving a 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass S, Indiana State police Sgt. Rich Myers said in a press release.
A passenger, Pamela Duley, 51, of Lafayette, was trapped in the wreckage. After being extricated by Whitestown and Zionsville fire department personnel, she was taken to St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis. At 5:20 p.m. Thursday, she was reported in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, Myers said.
Oliver’s car was struck from behind by a 2010 Toyota Highlander driven by Scott Cameron, 45, of Brownsburg. Cameron suffered a head laceration; he was treated and released at St. Vincent Hospital.
Cameron told investigating Trooper Craig Perkins that he “glanced at his cell phone and when he looked up a vehicle was completely stopped or traveling extremely slowly directly in front of him.”
“This is an ongoing investigation,” Myers said. “I cannot comment on whether charges will be filed” against Perkins.
It was believed all three people were wearing seat belts, Myers said.
“Due to the violent nature of the crash, the seat belt was unable to prevent Oliver’s fatal injuries,” he said.
Cameron’s Toyota, with heavy front-end damage, stopped in the middle of the three southbound lanes. Fragments of Oliver’s car, including shattered glass, were strewn from the impact site to the guardrail on the west side of the interstate.
Several fleece tie blankets were draped over the guardrail, the Oldsmobile’s hood, and on the snow-covered bank of a drainage ditch.
Police closed the interstate at Ind. 267, sending south-bound traffic to Indianapolis Road. Drivers squeezing onto the ramp created a traffic jam about three miles long. Several hundred vehicles were caught between the crash site and the Ind. 267 overpass. The interstate was reopened about 4 p.m.
Steve Woosley, 60, of Warrensburg, Ill., died instantly at 4:47 a.m. Thursday when he drove his semi-truck at highway speed into the rear of a truck driven by Stephen Grogg, 32, of Clarksburg, W.V., that was merging onto northbound I-65 at the 128 mile marker, just beyond the Boone-Hendricks county line.
A passenger asleep in Grogg’s semi, John Hernandez, 48, of Cross Plains, Texas, was taken to St. Vincent Hospital for observation. He did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. Grogg was not injured.
“Seat belts were in use by both drivers, however due to the extremely violent nature of the crash, the seat belt was unable to keep the driver of the second semi from suffering fatal injuries,” the ISP said in a news release.
Both lanes of northbound I-65 were closed for several hours and traffic was detoured onto I-465.