A nine-vehicle wreck occurred Friday about 12:15 p.m. on eastbound I-70 near SR 46 in Vigo County.
According to Indiana State Police, Lester L. Jackson, 57, Sunbury, Ohio, was eastbound on I-70 driving a 1993 Volvo semi-tractor pulling two trailers.
Lester failed to stop for traffic that was slowed and merging into the right lane due to construction. Lester's semi rear-ended a Toyota pick-up then continued on, striking seven other vehicles.
Another semi driver, Richard L. Cedar, from Ontario Canada, was in the opposite lane ahead of Jackson. He heard over his CB radio that the semi was not stopping. Cedar maneuvered his truck in front of Jackson's to stop the out-of-control semi.
Two female occupants of the Toyota truck were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was identified as Audrey M. Longnecker, 64, Turbotville. Pa. Her passenger was Barbara Jo Buck, 34, Watsontown, Pa.
A motor home involved in the crash caught fire and completely burned. All occupants were able to escape.
Seven victims were transported to Terre Haute Regional Hospital. Two were admitted to Regional and two others were treated and released.
Three victims were transported by medical helicopter to Methodist Hospital. Two of those three were children. A Regional Hospital spokesperson said that the injuries ranged from minor to life-threatening. Jackson and Cedar received no major injuries.
No citations have been issued awaiting determination of cause. An ISP spokesman said the semi will be examined. Along with other factors, they will determine if the brakes on Jackson's vehicle were working at the time of impact. The investigation is continuing.
Eastbound I-70 was shut down for approximately six hours due to the investigation and clean-up.