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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

40 vehicles involved in crash shutting down I-70

Friday, February 1, 2013

PLAINFIELD -- A massive accident involving at least 20 semis and 15-20 cars Thursday afternoon closed Interstate 70 in western Hendricks County for most of the remaninder of the day.

"It looked like utter carnage," Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts, the Putnamville District public information officer, said, describing I-70 when he arrived on the scene.

"This was not your typical crash on Interstate 70," Watts noted. "Normally vehicles of this number are not occurring at the same time but it was icy conditions, snow conditions."

The chain-reaction accident that unfolded shortly after 2 p.m. near an overpass at Hendricks County Road 275 East (Cotton Road) injured an estimated 12 persons as several semis piled up four wide and blocked the westbound lanes of the interstate.

All four lanes of I-70 were ultimately shut down from Plainfield to the Monrovia exit (State Road 39). Traffic was detoured over State Road 39, U.S. 231 and U.S. 40.

"Most (of the injuries) are just bumps and bruises but a couple of them are believed to be serious," First Sgt. Dave Bursten told reporters. "At this time we don't believe any of them to be life-threatening."

Traffic was backed up for hours on Interstate 70 in both directions on Thursday afternoon after following a 40 car pile-up, which is believed to have been caused from white out conditions. Photos courtesy of Nicole Speer
Authorities called the number of vehicles involved in the crash an "approximation, not an accurate count" Thursday night.

A few of the semis were reportedly hauling anti-freeze or fuel, some of which spilled onto the interstate to further compound the crash clean-up. A haz-mat unit was called in to come and clean that up.

"We got the first call at 2:09," Bursten noted, "with multiple vehicles involved in crashes in the east and westbound lanes."

Cause of the accident remains under investigation but authorities believe whiteout conditions and high winds, coupled with drivers operating too fast for those conditions, contributed mightily to the mishap.

"I want to emphasize that thus far," Bursten said, "there's been no loss of life, and we're hoping that remains the same. I am told a couple people are seriously injured."

Besides the initial impact zone, State Police said multiple crashes subsequently occurred when vehicles did not get stopped in time and other vehicles drove into the median or ditches to avoid collisions.

"It was a crash that's not of the norm," Sgt. Watts added, noting that besides weather another factor might have been drivers following too closely in the slick and low-visibility conditions.

Numerous vehicles, despite not being directly involved in the accident, were reportedly stranded along the roadway. Those included a bus of Plainfield High School students fresh from visiting the Indiana State University campus at Terre Haute.

Another tractor-trailer that slid off the roadway at the crash scene was reportedly hauling three elephants. The animals had to off-loaded from the trailer by their trainer.

Once the wayward semi was pulled back onto the interstate, the elephants were reloaded into the eastbound trailer that was headed for a circus date.

None of the elephants was reportedly injured. The animals were never loose or running free, authorities said.

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There needs to be an ISP team dedicated to I-70 traffic alone. They need to be on I-70 handing out tickets left and right to stop some of this nonsense.

People are insane when they drive anymore. Maybe stricter guidelines at the BMV before they issue a driver's license.

Used to be you could miss 2 before you fail the written test .. now it's 8! Really? We're dumbing down the driving test now? Might as well, we're following a pattern.


-- Posted by Emmes on Fri, Feb 1, 2013, at 11:55 AM

We need to have and enforce a lower speed limit on trucks. Every truck speeds to at least 75 or 80 mph. This is totally rediculous!!! Cars speed too, however trucks drive fast to where they are totally "out of control"... PLEASE do something about SPEEDING!!!

-- Posted by waepc on Sat, Feb 2, 2013, at 12:21 PM

This had nothing to do with TRUCKS going fast. I've been driving over 40 years. The problem is the Inexperienced NEW Drivers!

Think Indiana is the only state with problems? I'm terrified to drive in the FOG anymore, because these greenhorns will slow to a crawl and ride side by side. Where can you go? That is what starts all these things!

If they would just get off the road when they get scared. 2-3 weeks in a Truck Driving School is not training! I worked and trained as a drivers helper for a YEAR, with a man that had been driving for 35 years.

-- Posted by drlontime on Mon, Feb 11, 2013, at 3:43 PM

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