Illinois man killed when van rear-ends semi on eastbound I-70
LITTLE POINT -- The driver of a van was killed and four of his passengers injured Friday night when the eastbound vehicle struck the rear of a semi tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 near the 55-mile marker.
Indiana State Police and multiple agencies responded to the fatal accident scene, 14 miles east of Cloverdale, at about 8:15 p.m. Friday, State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Joe Watts said.
Preliminary investigation revealed a white passenger van with five occupants was eastbound on I-70 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.
The driver of the 2009 Chrysler van, Shane Oakley, 43, of Greenup, Ill., veered to the right, attempting to avoid the semi and impacted the right rear of the box trailer.
Oakley 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 was 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.