Woman, 3-year-old daughter perish in fiery I-70 accident

Saturday, September 22, 2012

CLOVERDALE -- A Mississippi woman and her three-year-old daughter were killed in a fiery four-vehicle accident Friday evening on Interstate 70 near Cloverdale, Indiana State Police reported.

The victims, identified Saturday as Emma Bronson, 49, and her daughter Zacchia Bronson, were passengers in a car that burst into flames after being struck by a semi tractor-trailer.

The accident occurred about 6:10 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-70 at the 43-mile marker, two miles east of Cloverdale and the U.S. 231 exit.

Indiana State Police Public information Officer Sgt. Joe Watts said the driver of the car, Michael Bronson, 47, husband of Emma and father of the little girl, was transported to Methodist Hospital at Indianapolis with neck and back injuries

The Bronsons' home is in Pascagoula, Miss.

Preliminary investigation revealed eastbound traffic was stopped for construction when a 2007 Volvo tractor, pulling a box trailer and driven by Jordan Moore 27, Quebec, Canada, failed to stop and struck the rear of a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by William Bertelmann, 60, Burleson, Texas.

The pickup veered to the right and overturned off the south edge of I-70. The tractor-trailer continued on, striking the rear of a 1991 BMW passenger car. The BMW burst into flames and struck the rear of a 2010 Kia driven by Willie Clemmons, 75, Cahokia, Ill.

Moore was ejected from his tractor-trailer and airlifted to Methodist Hospital for treatment of fractures and internal injuries. Bertelmann was transported to Methodist with head pain. Clemmons was not injured.

Moore, Bertelmann and Michael Bronson all remained hospitalized Saturday.

Motorists at the scene were able to extricate Emma Bronson from the front seat of the BMW and attempted first-aid measures. However, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unknown motorists, along with ISP Trooper Yan Dravigne and Cloverdale Police Officer Charlie Hallam, were unable to extricate the toddler from the rear seat. The three-year-old was also pronounced dead at the scene.

As of Saturday evening, no citations had been issued in the accident and no charges had been filed.

Both lanes of I-70 were initially closed following the fatal accident. The eastbound lane remained closed until 10:30 p.m. as police investigated the scene.

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  • just sad....only 3 yrs old

    -- Posted by Shellie Graham on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 5:47 AM
  • Something has got to be done along this stretch if interstate. There has been so many fatalities since I moved to Cloverdale 6 years ago. I suggest our county or state police patrol that area more and stop all these people either semis or cars because both are guilty going 80-85 MPH. Done it myself before. All I know something needs to be done. I would almost bet statistically that stretch of interstate both directions is the deadliest in the State of Indiana. R.I.P sweet baby and mommy.

    -- Posted by wineethupooh on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 12:40 PM
  • Tough year for Officer Hallam. My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims as well as all the police, fire and ambulance who arrived within minutes of the accident.

    -- Posted by letspulltogether on Sat, Sep 22, 2012, at 7:49 PM
  • Totally agree with WINEE! I moved to Indy to be closer to work and to get away from the accidents and constant construction on I-70 in my drive (before) from Brazil.

    If not a couple times/week, then weekly .. accident upon accident - and 90% of them involving a Semi.

    I'm wondering how the semi-driver was ejected from his truck? Seatbelt violation, maybe? Speculation at this point, but that area is horrible for accidents.

    Prayers to the families of all injured/killed in this senseless tragedy.

    -- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Sep 24, 2012, at 12:08 PM
  • As a professional driver I can attest to the unprofessional driving displayed by a majority of Canadian truckers. They tend to speed up when other truckers attempt to pass them, don't use their courtesy lights, etc. This driver should be charged with man-1, at the very least. Too many truckers complain about drivers from south of the border when some of the worst offenders come from north of the US.

    -- Posted by former_pc_res on Sat, Sep 29, 2012, at 1:02 PM
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