Clay County Coroner Rick Swearingen confirmed to The Brazil Times Monday evening an autopsy is scheduled for Ronald W. Frazier, 48, Nokomis, Ill., to help determine the cause of death.
Pathologist Dr. Roland Kohr is scheduled to perform the procedure today at Terre Haute Regional Hospital. Preliminary results should be released by the Clay County Coroner's Office after completion of Kohr's report.
According to a preliminary accident report filed by Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Rich Myers and Sgt. Cory Robinson, Frazier was killed when the 2009 Freightliner semi-tractor, which was pulling a box trailer, went off the right side of the roadway into a ditch, striking a concrete culvert and then an earth embankment which caused the vehicle and trailer to turn onto the passenger's side. The semi-tractor cab then struck the bridge support of the Clay/ Putnam County overpass road near the interstate's 29 mile-marker.
Although Frazier was wearing a seatbelt, due to the severity of the crash, officials said it was unable to prevent fatal injuries.
The shipment of glass inside the semi-truck and trailer, which was owned by McLeod Express LLC, Lafayette, spilled onto the ditch and roadway. Firefighters from Reelsville and Cloverdale fire departments and personnel from Curtis Wrecker Service worked several hours clearing away the glass while HAZ-MAT personnel cleaned spilled diesel fuel from the roadway.
Because of the severe impact during the accident, an Indiana Department of Transportation Engineering Technician surveyed the bridge support, but found no structural damage during the initial assessment.
The Clay County Sheriff's Department assisted at the accident scene and helped manage the traffic. Motorists were rerouted for several hours off I-70 at exit 23, north onto State Road 59 into Brazil, then east on United States 40 until it can be turned south on State Road 231 and ultimately returned to I-70. The stoplights from the intersection of US 40 and SR 59 in Brazil were changed to allow a better traffic flow.
Ivy Jackson writes for the Brazil Times, sister newspaper of the Banner Graphic.