Illinois man killed when van rear-ends semi on eastbound I-70
LITTLE POINT -- Indiana State Police and multiple agencies responded to a fatal accident in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 about 8:15 p.m. Friday.
State Police Sgt. Joe Watts said the passenger van and tractor-trailer accident occurred near the 55-mile marker, resulting in fatal injuries to the van driver.
Preliminary investigation revealed a white passenger van with five occupants was eastbound, 14 miles east of Cloverdale in northwestern Morgan County, when it failed to slow or maneuver around a slow-moving or nearly stopped Freightliner tractor-tractor pulling a box trailer on I-70.
The driver of the 2009 Chrysler van veered to the right, attempting to avoid the semi and impacted the right rear of the box trailer.
The van driver, 43-year-old Shane Oakley of Greenup, Ill., was pronounced dead at the scene by Morgan County Deputy Coroner Scott Kelley.
Four passengers in the van, the victim's wife, Tonya W. Oakley, 42; their daughters, Shaina Oakley, 21, and Jazzmin Oakley, 16, and fellow passenger Hayden Kanizer, 19, were taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Kanizer was airlifted and is believed to be in critical condition from head and neck injuries, State Police reported.
The three Oakley women were treated for minor injuries.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Sukhkaran S. Sidhu, 28, of Ontario, Canada, and his male co-driver were uninjured in the accident.
Sidhu was operating a 2019 Freightliner tractor, pulling a box trailer loaded with auto parts for Allstate Freight Systems of Ontario.
Eastbound traffic was reportedly slowing or stopping for a disabled tractor-trailer near the 57-mile marker of I-70.
The investigation is ongoing and nothing else will be released at this time, authorities said. Routine toxicology results are pending.
The accident closed the eastbound lanes of I-70 until after midnight with traffic being rerouted over U.S. 231 to U.S. 40.
The crash is being investigated by ISP Trooper David Cox Jr. with assistance from ISP Crash Reconstructionists, the Morgan County Sheriff's Office, Morgan County Coroner's Office, Morgan County EMS, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, Monrovia Police Department, A & A Township Fire/Rescue, Monroe Township Fire/Rescue, IU Health Air Medical, Morgan County Sheriff's chaplain and Curtis Wrecker Service.