Information from The Indiana State Police: In Tippecanoe County, at approximately 7:18 a.m Eastern Time, this Monday, June 24, 2013 morning, a three semi crash on I-65 south bound at the 176 ½ Mile marker (this is 1 ½ mile south of the State Road 43 exit) resulted in the death of two semi drivers.
Preliminary investigation, by Master Trooper Bill Brooks, revealed that a white 2000 Freightliner semi hauling a trailer loaded with a rail container was parked on the outer shoulder. The driver was outside of his vehicle because the semi tractor was disabled. Another tractor (bob-tail) a 1998 red Freightliner had pulled ahead of the first Freightliner as the driver was going to connect to the trailer from the disable 2000 Freightliner. Both drivers from these semis were outside their vehicles, one of them wearing a reflective vest, disconnecting the trailer from the disabled 2000 Freightliner; the trailer they were disconnecting was parked near the fog line on the shoulder.
A white 2004 Freightliner pulling a box trailer, hauling for UPS, and owned by Transcorr LLC out of Indianapolis was southbound when the driver, Plata Albertico, 42 of Berwyn, Illinois, for unknown reasons did not move over to the left lane. Albertico’s tractor struck the disabled trailer parked on the shoulder, hitting both drivers as they were disconnecting the trailer, he then struck both Freightliners parked on the outer shoulder before coming to rest down in the ditch on the west side of the interstate. The red 1998 Freightliner (bob-tail) caught fire after being hit. Albertico’s semi also caught fire and part of his general freight load on his trailer burned. Albertico was not injured. All vehicles and trailers sustained heavy damage.
One driver hit at the scene was pronounced dead by the Tippecanoe County Coroner of massive blunt force trauma the second driver was taken to Indiana University Arnett in Lafayette where the driver was later pronounced dead. Names are being withheld pending notification of their families.
All lanes southbound were blocked and traffic was diverted off at State Road 18 for investigation of the crash, removal of the deceased, removal of the vehicles and trailers, and clean-up. One lane was re-opened at approximately 10:30 A.M. This is still an on-going investigation.
Assisting: Indiana State Police Troopers Derek Scott, Ben Rector, Sergeants Kim Riley, Dan Ziegler, Dave Murray, Lieutenant Jay Janke, White County EMS, Purdue University Police, Lafayette Police, West Lafayette Police and Tippecanoe County Sheriff
[Photos/Indiana State Police]