BRAZIL -- A three-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon near the 22-mile marker of Interstate 70 in Clay County involved a passenger car and two tractor-trailer combinations.
The 4:41 p.m. crash resulted in critical injuries to the driver of the passenger vehicle but no injuries to either driver of the tractor-trailers, Indiana State Police at Putnamville reported.
Off-duty Indiana State Police Trooper Brent Robinson was westbound on I-70 when he came upon the three-vehicle crash. Trooper Robinson provided medical attention until the arrival of firefighters and paramedics.
As Tiefel made a left turn from the driving lane, a westbound 2005 Freightliner tractor pulling a box trailer and driven by Jose A. Tello, 37, Laredo, Texas, was in the passing lane and struck the Malibu in the driver's side.
Initial impact forced the Malibu back into the driving lane, where it struck the driver's side of a box trailer being pulled by a 2010 Freightliner tractor driven by Earl G. Mattingly, 47, Brookville. The Malibu then came to rest in the grassy ditch area on the north side of westbound I-70.
Tiefel was extricated by Posey and Jackson Township fire departments from Clay County and airlifted from the scene to Wishard Hospital, Indianapolis.
The woman suffered head injuries and was believed to be in critical but stable condition as of presstime Wednesday. Troopers do not believe she was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Tello was driving for Rabco International of Laredo, Texas. Mattingly was driving for Transport of America of Minneapolis.
The tractor driven by Tello immediately caught fire and was fully engulfed in flames before the arrival of area fire departments.
The eastbound lanes were initially closed as rescue personnel believed the contents of the trailer (acrylic polymer substances) were hazardous.
Once flames were extinguished and the load deemed not to be hazardous to passing traffic, the eastbound lanes reopened at 5:56 p.m. The driving lane of westbound I-70 was reopened at 6:26 p.m.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management dispatched a hazardous clean-up crew from the Roachdale area. The clean-up was expected to last into the early morning hours of Wednesday, with the passing lane remaining closed.
No violations were noted for either tractor-trailer driver and no citations were issued as of yet for any driver.
Assisting at the crash site were numerous troopers from the Putnamville Post, Clay County Sheriff's Office, Clay County Search/Rescue, Clay County Emergency Management, Posey, Jackson and Lewis Township fire departments, Trans Care EMS, Air-Evac Medivac, Indiana Department of Transportation, VCARE Haz Mat and Poor Boys Wrecker Service.