7 dead in three-vehicle crash in northwest Indiana - New York News

7 dead in three-vehicle crash in northwest Indiana

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JASPER COUNTY, Ind. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Seven people -- including four Merrillville, Ind. residents -- are dead after a three-vehicle crash Thursday night on Interstate 65 in Jasper County.

The dead were identified by Jasper County Coroner Andy Boersman as Amado Mangual, 49, Lindsey Williams, 27, Yazmin Goldman, 5, and Arielle Goldman, 3, all of Merrillville. Jamin Osborne, 5, Jasmin Osborne, 7, and Yvette Williams, 35, all of Atlanta, Ga., were also killed, the Post-Tribune reports.

Officers responded to the crash at 9:52 p.m. Thursday. A preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police revealed Steven Crockett, 33, of Union, Ohio, was driving a 2012 Freightliner semi truck north on I-65 near the 230-mile marker. The semi was being followed by a Jeep Cherokee.

The semi and Jeep stopped for a traffic backup from an approaching work zone, but a northbound 2007 Volvo semi truck, also pulling a box trailer, rear-ended the Jeep and pushed it into the back of the trailer being pulled by the Freightliner.

The Volvo semi was driven by Howard Stratton, 55, of Grand Rapids, Mich. The crash impact ignited a fire that engulfed the Jeep. The fire also burned the cab and part of the trailer on the Volvo. It also burned part of the trailer on the Freightliner.

After firefighters extinguished the flames, they determined at least two people were in the Jeep. A final determination on the number of victims wasn't made until mid-day Friday.

Stratton was transported by ambulance to Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point with a complaint of pain to his body. Crockett was not injured.

Neither the use of alcohol nor narcotics is suspected as having contributed to this crash, according to police.

Crockett was hauling water for Nationwide Truck Brokers based in Troy, Ohio. Stratton was hauling food items for Griffin Transportation Incorporated based in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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