I-70 motorist crashes into two stopped vehicles
CLOVERDALE -- Westbound lanes of Interstate 70 were shut down for more than an hour early Thursday evening after a motorist drove full speed into stopped construction traffic.
At 4:41 p.m., the Putnam County Sheriff's Department responded to the crash in the westbound lanes of I-70 at approximately the 40-mile marker, just west of Cloverdale.
Investigating Officer Sgt. Jon Chadd reported that Matthew Farley, 24, of Brazil, was driving westbound in a utility work van when he rear-ended two vehicles, which were stopped due to construction traffic.
"He apparently did not see traffic stopped and he rear ended them at full speed," said Chadd. "He hit the first vehicle so hard it was knocked off the road and as he continued he rear ended a second vehicle."
Farley initially collided with another full-sized commercial work van, which was driven by Michael Kiesler, 36 of Wadesville. In the vehicle with Kiesler was Nathan Knight, 30, Evansville.
He then went on to hit the second vehicle, another full-size work van, driven by Benjamin Sipes, 39, of Beech Grove, who also had Christine Beck, 55, of Beech Grove with him.
"It was not a construction zone where the accident actually took place, but there was construction up ahead," Chadd said. "Witnesses say and evidence indicates that the Farley vehicle never applied his brakes."
Following the crash, Farley had to be extricated from his vehicle and was lifelined to Methodist Hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
Kiesler was also transferred to Methodist Hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries, while Knight was transferred to Union Hospital in Terre Haute with significant injuries including broken bones. Both Sipes and Beck were treated for injuries at the scene and released.
As of Friday morning all remained in the hospital.
Interstate 70 was later opened up at approximately 6:10 p.m. after all westbound lanes were shut down.
Authorities say that the cause of the crash is still unknown. However, Farley was believed to have been distracted at the time.
Damage to all three vehicles is estimated at $50,000.
Operation Life, Cloverdale Fire, INDOT, Cataract Fire and Putnam County Sheriff's Department Lt. Donnie Pettit, Deputy Josh Boller and Chief Deputy Tom Helmer assisted Chadd at the scene.