Traffic backed up in both lanes on I-70 for a half-hour Tuesday evening after a truck rolled over and ejected the driver. Stephen E. Bennifield, of Reelsville, Ind., was taken by helicopter to Wishard Hospital.
Authorities say speed was the cause of an accident that backed up traffic on I-70 for a half-hour and had residents questioning safety on the interstate.
I heard the squall of the tires at my house, then silence. I just figured it was because of the road construction," said Victoria Hill, who lives about a quarter-mile away from the interstate at 1969 E. C.R. 500 N. "But when we heard the sirens, I knew it was bad. So I told my friend and we came up here to see what was happening."
Hill, along with several other people, was standing on the Harmony Road overpass above I-70 watching emergency personnel below load the crash victim into a helicopter.
Shortly before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, members of the Indiana State Police, Clay County Sheriff's Department and Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department responded to a single-vehicle accident at the 26-mile marker on I-70.
According to the accident report, Stephen E. Bennifield, 46, of Reelsville, Ind., was traveling at a high rate of speed in a 2004 Chevy Avalanche. He swerved to avoid collision when traffic slowed in the eastbound lane, crossed the median into westbound traffic and then turned back into the median where the vehicle rolled over, ejecting Bennifield.
Complaining of back pain, Bennifield was air-lifted to Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis. Further details about his condition are unavailable.
The vehicle sustained $10,000 to $25,000 damage.