Accident claims 2 lives

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Two women were killed and a third was injured Thursday in a crash on I-70 in Cloverdale.

As of press time, the names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of the families, Putnam County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Don Pettit said.

The two deceased women -- a driver and one of the passengers -- were 24 and the injured woman is 19, Pettit said. Although it has not been positively established where the victims were from, Pettit said IDs found at the crash scene indicated all three women resided in the Noblesville area.

The accident happened in the westbound lane of I-70 at the 44 mile marker at about 2:30 p.m. Witnesses told police that the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed, cut in between two semis and struck the backend of the double trailer in front of her.

The driver then lost control of the 2008 Nissan Versa, Pettit said. The vehicle went into the median on the south side of the road, went airborne and struck several small trees before hitting a large tree, which crushed the top of the vehicle.

Both passengers were ejected from the vehicle. The driver was pinned and appeared to have died upon impact from massive head trauma, Pettit said. The passenger was also pronounced dead at the scene.

The injured passenger was flown from the accident Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis where she was listed in critical condition as of Thursday evening, Pettit said.

Autopsies are pending on both of the deceased, but alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the accident, Pettit said.

"There was nothing at the scene to indicate that," he said. "It appears speed was the big factor."

The vehicle was not titled yet and still had a temporary license plate, Pettit said. A bill of sale bearing the name of the driver was found in the wreckage.

Pettit said a call came in to Putnam County Dispatch about the vehicle involved in the accident driving erratically at the I-70 mile marker moments before the crash happened.

Assisting Putnam County Sheriff's Department personnel were representatives of the Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Department; Indiana State Police, Putnamville Post; Operation Life; the Cloverdale Police Department and the Indiana State Highway Department.

Emergency Personnel were on the scene for about four hours, CTVFP member Kerry Shepherd said.

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