TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four people, including a West Michigan man, are dead after a semi-truck slammed into the back of a car and then hit a flatbed truck hauling steel bars in western Indiana.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts tells the Tribune-Star the car erupted into flames after it was hit Saturday evening along Interstate 70 west of Terre Haute. Three occupants in the car were killed.
Watts says the semi then hit the Maverick flatbed truck, and steel bars on the flatbed skewered the semi, killing the driver.
Monday afternoon, Indiana State Police identified the semi driver as 38-year-old Jeffrey Kolkman of Jenison. He worked for Green Transportation in Holland, the company confirmed to 24 Hour News 8.
The people in the car were identified as Brian Lee, 48, of West Terre Haute, the driver; his 23-year-old son, Aaron Lee of West Terre Haute, who was in the front passenger’s seat; and 45-year-old Stephanie Swaim of Brazil, Ind., who was in the backseat.
State police said a coroner determined all four victims died on impact.
Watts says the accident occurred as traffic slowed in the eastbound lanes because of an active fire. Watts says the tractor-trailer failed to slow before rear-ending the car.
The accident closed the eastbound lanes of I-70 in the area, creating long traffic backups.
Information from: Tribune-Star
–24 Hour News 8 contributed to this report.