Chesterton Tribune



Seven die in fiery crash when Jeep caught between semis on I65

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Seven people were killed Thursday after the Jeep in which they were riding was sandwiched between semis on I-65 in Jasper County, the Indiana State Police said.

According to police, at 9:52 p.m. Steven Crockett, 33, Union, OH, was driving a 2012 Freightliner semi-tractor, pulling a box trailer, northbound on I-65 near the 230 mile marker. The semi-tractor was being followed by a 2005 Jeep Cherokee, driven by Yvette Williams, 35, Atlanta, GA. The Freightliner and Jeep stopped due to a traffic backup from an approaching work zone.

A northbound 2007 Volvo semi-tractor, driven by Howard Stratton, 55, Grand Rapids, MI, rear-ended the Jeep pushing it into the back of the trailer being pulled by the Freightliner.

The crash ignited a fire which engulfed the Jeep. The fire also burned the cab and part of the trailer on the Volvo. It also burned part of the trailer on the Freightliner.

“After firefighters extinguished the flames, at least two people were observed deceased in the Jeep,” police said. But “due to the severity of the damage to the Jeep, investigators [were unable to immediately] to determine the number of casualties inside.”

Stratton was transported by ambulance to St. Anthony’s Hospital, in Crown Point, IN, with a complaint of pain to his body. Crockett was not injured.

The Jeep was transported to Keener Township Fire Department so emergency personnel could make extrication. While disassembling the Jeep, emergency workers found five more bodies, in addition to the two bodies observed at the crash scene, police said.

There were a total of three adults and four children found inside the vehicle, State Police said.

Those killed have been identified as:

- Amado Mangual, 49, Merrillville

- Lindsey Williams, 27, Merrillville

- Yazmin Goldman, 5, Merrillville

- Arielle Goldman, 3, Merrillville

- Jamin Osborne, 5, Atlanta, GA

- Jasmin Osborne, 7, Atlanta, GA

- Yvette Williams, 35, Atlanta, GA

“This is an ongoing investigation but at this time neither the use of alcohol nor narcotics is suspected as having contributed to this crash,” police said. “When officers have completed the investigation information will be forwarded to the Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office for review.”

Stratton was hauling food items for Griffin Transportation Inc. of Grand Rapids. Crockett was hauling water for Nationwide Truck Brokers of Troy, Ohio.


Posted 8/16/2013