Recently, an Indiana father and two of his children were killed in one of many crashes on southbound Interstate 65, caused in part by recent snowfall.
The father, a 45-year old doctor from Rensselaer, and his son and daughter were killed at 11:39 pm, three miles south of the Roselawn exit. His second son survived the crash and was later taken to Jasper County Hospital, having suffered broken bones. This was the same hospital where the father had been on staff.
The events of the crash began two hours earlier, when a semi truck rolled over in the southbound lanes of Interstate 65. The semi was being driven by a 57-year old from Wapakoneta, Ohio, and was filled with nitric acid. The driver had crashed into a median, jackknifed, and came to a rest on the driver's side, causing the nitric acid to spill. The driver and responding Indiana state trooper were both taken to a local hospital due to exposure to nitric acid fumes. Both were later released, and the police did not suspect drugs or alcohol of playing a role.
The crash and spill forced several vehicles traveling in that direction to slow down, including a semi truck from Battle Ground, Washington that was pulling a 1998 Utility box trailer containing 28,000 pounds of apples. By the time the father drove up, he was unable to slow down his 2008 Toyota Sequoia in time to avoid hitting the semi truck's rear. The semi truck driver was not injured by the crash.
Police do not suspect drugs or alcohol of being a factor in the father's collision. In the meantime, state officials are conducting an investigation, and all lanes of traffic were closed for up to 14 hours.
In addition to this tragic collision, there were 20 other crashes before six o'clock the following morning. Most were attributed to the ice on the road, including thick ice that ground traffic on U.S. 231 to a halt between Arizona Street and Broadway.
While vehicle crashes due to poor weather conditions are often the fault of neither driver, it is always prudent for a thorough investigation to be conducted. Sometimes it turns out that while conditions were a factor, one or both of the drivers was inattentive or driving unreasonably in some other way. If that is the case, the injured driver has the option of filing a lawsuit against the other driver. However, the injured party should keep in mind that while states like Kentucky have a system of pure comparative negligence — meaning that even if the other driver is 10 percent liable, he or she still must pay that amount in damages — Indiana has what is known as modified comparative negligence. That means if the other driver is 50 percent or less at fault, he or she will not have to pay any damages.
Miller & Falkner is an Indiana and Kentucky plaintiffs law firm serving residents of Kentucky and Indiana. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the firm provides representation in the areas of personal injury and employment law. If you need an Indiana personal injury attorney, contact us today for a free consultation.