Seven family members died in a tragic trucking accident involving their SUV and two semis. The accident occurred on August 15, 2013, in Indiana on I-65. According to reports, the SUV was stopped behind a semi because traffic was backed up on the highway near a work zone. Another semi did not stop and rear-ended the SUV, sandwiching it between the two semis.
The SUV became engulfed in flames and was badly burned before firefighters could extinguish the fire. Authorities saw two bodies in the SUV, but because of the severity of the fire and the condition of the wreckage, fire crews took the SUV to the Keener Township Fire Department to remove the victims.
After hours of labor spent taking the SUV apart, the authorities made the gruesome discovery of an additional five bodies. According to a statement by the Indiana State Police, “There were a total of three adults and four children found inside the vehicle.” The victims were identified as Amado Mangual, 49; his sisters Yvette Williams, 35, and Lindsey Williams, 27; Yvette Williams’ children, Jasmin Osborne, 7, and Jamin Osborne, 5; and Lindsey Williams’ children, Yazmin Goldman, 5, and Arielle Goldman, 3, all residents of Indiana.
Though no citations or charges have currently been filed in the case, First Sgt. Terrance Weems, of the Indiana State Police, stated, “The cause of the crash was due to inattentive driving and negligence on the semi-tractor-trailer driver’s part.”
Reportedly, the driver, Howard Stratton, has been ticketed for speeding a minimum of five times since 2006 and was cited last month for failure to submit a weigh-in despite a warning letter he received in 2011 from the Michigan Secretary of State. Stratton was not seriously injured and the other semi driver was unhurt.
Inattentive driving can result from many factors including driving while fatigued, texting and driving, and driving while talking on a cell phone. Currently, the reason for the semi-driver’s inattentive driving has not been released. The trucking accident is still under investigation.