Eight Die In Toll Road Crash

Indiana State Police have identified some of the victims killed in a crash on Thursday on the Indiana Toll Road.

The victims are:

  • Mark S. Repp of Sturgis, Michigan
  • Samuel J. Yoder and Anthony Yoder (father and son)
  • Merle D. Miller, age 44, of Ligonier, Indiana
  • Douglas and Mary Helen George of Springfield, New Hampshire

    The names of two victims were still being withheld, pending notification of kin.

    The preliminary cause of the crash is listed as “driver inattention.”

    It’s believed that a semi-truck driven by Leonardo Cooksey of Mount Prospect, Illinois struck the rear of a pickup truck, which careened into several other vehicles.

    A total of seven vehicles were involved in the chain reaction crash. A total of eight people lost their lives.

    Five of the victims were passengers in an F-250 pickup truck, which was the first vehicle hit by the semi.

    Traffic at the time was slowing down or stopping because of a separate accident about two miles up the road.

    “We’re going to turn over every nook and cranny that we can to make sure that we find out exactly what happened here, because the families deserve an explanation as to how their loved ones passed on,” said Trooper Tim Moon of the Indiana State Police.

    The crash took place around 6:40AM Thursday. While it is near a construction zone, the scene of the crash was not in that construction zone.

    “The conditions were good. It wasn’t rainy, the pavement wasn’t a problem,” said Truck Driver Mark Librande, who was in traffic, just behind the accident.

    “It was probably the usual, which is speed,” Librande added.

    It took crews about nine hours to clean up debris from the accident.

    During that time, the portion of the Toll Road between Middlebury and Bristol was closed.

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