Demotte, IN- An accident involving a semi-truck and a Jeep Cherokee last week in Demotte, Indiana had devastating consequences. Seven members of one family, including four children, were killed and now, police report that the driver has had a string speeding violations.
The accident took place late Saturday, August 17th on 1-65 just south of Merrillville around 10 p.m. Traffic had slowed because of a construction zone when a semi-truck slammed into the rear of the Jeep Cherokee pushing it into the rear of another semi.
The impact of the crash caused the Jeep to erupt in a blaze, which made it difficult for police to initially realize the severity of the crash, according to ABC affiliate WLS.
“The Jeep was burned, for the most part, beyond recognition,” Indiana State Police First Sgt. Terrance Weems told WLS.
The accident killed all seven occupants of the Jeep. They have been identified as Lindsey Williams, 27, and her two daughters, Yazmin, 5 and Arielle, 3; all residents of Merrillville. Also killed were Williams’ sister, Yvette Williams of Atlanta, and her two children, Jasmin and Jamin Osborne, along with the children’s uncle, Amado Mangual of Merrillville, WLS reported.
“The Jeep was compacted greatly,” Weems said. “So at the time, we were only sure of maybe two persons inside the Jeep.”
Police attributed the cause of the accident to speed and distraction and Weems placed the blame squarely on the driver, Howard Stratton of Michigan. A look into Stratton’s driving record revealed that he was been cited for speeding five times since 2006.
Neither Stratton nor the other semi-truck driver was seriously injured in the crash.
Speeding accounts for one-third of all fatal traffic accidents nationwide, with distraction being another primary cause. This accident is a tragic, yet, poignant reminder of how important it is for a truck driver to mind their speed and pay careful attention to the flow of traffic when traveling on the nation’s highways.
Semi-truck drivers are under a great deal of pressure to get the goods they are hauling to their destination quickly, but that the lives of others should not be cut short to meet a deadline.
There are thousands of truck drivers who are conscientious and careful drivers. However, it only takes the negligent actions of one driver to sully them all.
The size and weight of a semi, whether it is carrying a load or not, makes it more likely that they will cause significant damage to property or serious harm to passenger vehicle occupants or both. What would normally be a minor accident could turn serious when a large semi or other truck is involved.
Victims of truck accidents, with the assistance of a truck accident attorney, can seek compensation from a careless driver when they are at fault for a deadly or injurious accident. A truck accident attorney can make sure the victims or the loved ones of those who have been killed are fairly compensated.