Victim of deadly crash on Indiana Toll Road identified as IU South Bend professor

Westbound lanes closed for several hours for cleanup, investigation
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 12:42 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - One person is dead following a crash Tuesday morning on the Indiana Toll Road in St. Joseph County.

Indiana State Police troopers were called just after 11:10 a.m. to a serious crash involving a UPS semi with double trailers and a silver Toyota SUV in the westbound lanes of the toll road near the 79.6-mile marker, which is approximately three miles west of the Mishawaka exit.

According to their investigation, troopers say the semi towing double trailers was traveling west when the brakes on the rear trailer locked up. The semi came to a stop with the rear trailer mostly in the right lane. Police say the Toyota was traveling west in the right lane and swerved left to avoid the trailer, but ended up hitting the left corner of it.

A woman in the front seat of the Toyota, identified as 66-year-old Dora Natella of Granger, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Toyota, a 28-year-old Granger man, and the driver of the semi, a 33-year-old Munster man, were not hurt in the crash.

According to our reporting partners at the South Bend Tribune, Natella was an art professor at IU South Bend.

The crash caused both westbound lanes to be closed until approximately 2:50 p.m.

An inspection to determine why the brakes locked up on the semi will be conducted by troopers with the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. Police say neither alcohol nor drugs are suspected to be factors in this crash.

Indiana State Police were assisted on scene by Clay Territory Fire and EMS, Tom’s 24-Hour Towing, Tony’s Mobil Towing, the St. Joseph County Coroner’s Office, and ITRCC Maintenance.


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