FICKLE, Indiana – A six-vehicle crash on I-65 near Lafayette on Thursday morning left one driver dead and three others – including a Michigan City man – seriously injured, according to Indiana State Police.
The crash, which involved four semi trucks, a car and a van, occurred about 9:15 a.m. in the I-65 southbound lanes of I-65 about a mile north of the State Road 28 exit near Fickle, Indiana, about 8 miles southeast of Lafayette, according to ISP Sgt. Kim Riley.
Preliminary investigation by troopers from the ISP Post at Lafayette showed that traffic was stopped because of an earlier crash to the south when a white 2016 Volvo semi pulling a refrigerated box trailer was in the right lane and failed to see that traffic had slowed, Riley said.
The driver of the semi, 23-year-old Toddrick Fairley of Lucedale, Mississippi, told officers he "failed to see that traffic had slowed because he was looking for a bottle on the floor of his truck," she said.
The truck rear-ended a maroon 2014 Subaru Legacy, driven by 54-year-old Timothy Fagley of Michigan City, and pushed the car into the right ditch, Riley said.
Fagley – a Rogers graduate and U.S. Army veteran who works as a railroad engineer at ArcelorMittal – was flown by medical helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with "serious injuries," Riley said.
His wife, Kim Fagley, refused treatment at the scene, according to ISP.
The Volvo semi then continued southbound and rear-ended a 2012 Kenworth semi driven by Karana Wallace, 38, of Greensburg, Indiana, which was pulling a loaded tanker, ISP said. The impact pushed the Kenworth into the rear of a 2016 Ford Transit van driven by Ira Brockman, 81, of Taylor Mill, Kentucky.
The impact left the Transit "pancaked between the Kenworth and a second tanker being pulled by a 2009 Volvo semi, driven by Lucica Cimpean, 45, of Downers Grove, Illinois," she said. Neither tanker spilled its load.
Brockman was pronounced dead at the scene, according to ISP.
A sixth vehicle, a red 2003 Peterbuilt semi driven by Jesus Alamo, 36, of Franklin Park, Illinois, and pulling an empty flatbed trailer, was in a lane alongside the crash, and sustained very minor damage, Riley said.
The Volvo, Subaru, Kenworth tanker and Ford Transit were all a total loss, she said.
Fairley was treated at IU Arnett Hospital in Lafayette and released. Wallace was also transported to IU Arnett for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, Riley said, while Cimpean and Alamo refused treatment at the scene.
The investigation is continuing and all the drivers involved appeared to have been wearing seatbelts.
The interstate remained closed as of late Thursday afternoon for crash reconstruction and cleanup.
Assisting at the scene were the Clinton County Sheriff's Department, Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department, INDOT and Lafayette Police.
Riley said the completed report will be turned over to the Clinton County Prosecutor's office for possible charges.