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Semi-truck rolls over on I-70

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

(Photo)
Officials investigate a flipped semi-truck at the 20-milemarker of Interstate-70 Wednesday. Jason Moon Photo.
Officials were worked to a frenzy Wednesday following two accidents within one mile of each other on Interstate-70.

Indiana State Police officials believe drowsiness may have caused a semi-truck driver to roll his vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

ISP Sr. Trooper Chris Carter was called to the scene at approximately 11 a.m. for the rolled vehicle.

According to Carter, the driver, Zhe Meng, California, was driving eastbound on I-70 near the 20-mile marker when the vehicle began to veer off the road.

Witnesses told Carter the driver of the semi-truck attempted to regain control and then drove off the road, causing the flip.

"It does appear like he had fallen asleep," Carter said. "The driver was able to escape the vehicle through the windshield, but he had a very bad head injury."

Carter wasn't the first person on the scene, however.

An EMT traveling westbound on I-70 witnessed the accident and pulled over to immediately assist the driver.

"He did stop, crossed the median and helped the driver," Carter said of the unidentified pedestrian. "He did what he needed to do. He did an excellent job. We don't see that very often."

Meng was airlifted to Indianapolis Wishard Hospital by Air Evac, for further evaluation.

Carter said he believed Meng's injuries were not life-threatening.

"He was groggy, but he was talking to us," Carter said.

The semi-truck was carrying shoes, tobacco, beef jerky and various other materials that were not hazardous.

Meng's passenger, Qing Lee, was not injured. Lee said he was asleep when the accident took place.

After halting eastbound traffic on I-70 following the accident, officials opened the left eastbound lane of I-70 at approximately 11:45 a.m.

Other agencies assisting at the scene included TransCare, Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Department, Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department, and the Clay County Sheriff's Department.

Approximately one hour after the semi-truck accident, officials responded to a three-car pile-up at the 19-mile marker on eastbound I-70.

According to a press release, at 12:48 p.m., CCSD officials, along with members of the Jackson and Posey firefighters, were dispatched to the 19-milemarker for a three-vehicle accident.

Traffic was diverted to one lane following the semi-truck accident.

According to officials, Herbert Shideler, Muncie, said he was traveling east on I-70 when he looked over to the shoulder at a Indiana State Highway truck and collided with a vehicle driven by Stephen Finley, which resulted in his vehicle colliding into a semi-tractor trailer, driven by Roger Eddleblute, Ohio.

Three passengers in Finley's vehicle were transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital. All others involved in the accident did not request medical treatment.

I-70 was closed for a short period of time for emergency and medical personnel to work the accident.



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