[The Brazil Times nameplate] Fair ~ 46°F  
High: 72°F ~ Low: 53°F
Friday, May 6, 2016

Accident results in fatality

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Flames engulf the cab area of a semi that was involved in a fatal accident Wednesday afternoon in the eastbound lanes of Interstate-70. The accident, which resulted in the death of an Ohio driver, occurred at the 30-mile marker near the Putnam-Clay county line.
PUTNAMVILLE -- An Ohio truck driver died Wednesday in an accident occurring within the one-lane construction zone of Interstate-70 near the Putnam-Clay county line.

A preliminary investigation revealed that eastbound traffic was moving slowly through the construction zone and had come to a stop for an unknown reason, Indiana State Police at Putnamville reported.

An eastbound 2005 Volvo tractor, pulling a box trailer and being driven by Kundan S. Randwaha, 57, Ontario, Canada, had stopped for traffic when it was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer driven by the Ohio man.

The accident victim's tractor also impacted the adjacent guardrail. The Ohio man was driving for Averitt Express, Inc., Cookeville, Tenn.

Randwaha, who was driving for Transforce Co., and en route from Vincennes to Ontario, was uninjured.

The identity of the deceased driver was not released, authorities said. Positive identification of the driver may take up to seven days and possibly longer. The deceased driver was taken to Marion County for an autopsy.

Putnam County Coroner Thomas Miller was at the scene to assist Indiana State Police, who are in the process of conducting a crash investigation. A post-crash inspection of the tractor-trailers revealed no mechanical factors for the crash.

ISP Troopers Brandon Mullen and Ted Robertson came upon the accident scene at the 30-mile marker of eastbound I-70 -- approximately 11 miles west of Cloverdale -- at 3:16 p.m.

The troopers immediately ran to the second tractor-trailer and noticed the driver was pinned within the cab area of the semi.

The troopers began to assist the medical personnel from CARE Ambulance Service, who were passing by as well, when flames erupted within the cab area.

Utilizing police-issued fire extinguishers in an attempt to douse the fire, the troopers were assisted by bystanders with their own fire extinguishers. The flames, however, continued to grow.

The flames and heat became so intense that it forced the troopers and bystanders to retreat. Trooper Mullen's uniform caught fire, but was quickly put out by bystanders.

The driver remained pinned in the vehicle and perished in the fire, state police said.

The fire was so intense, it took area fire departments close to three hours to put it out. Area fire departments fighting the fire included Cloverdale Township, Reelsville, Jefferson Township, Cataract and Madison Township.

I-70 was closed in both directions during the fire. Traffic was rerouted off United States 40 from the State Road 59 exit (Exit 23) and U.S. 231.

Westbound lanes reopened at approximately 5 p.m., while eastbound traffic flow finally reopened at approximately 9:45 p.m., Wednesday.

One of the vehicles was loaded with cardboard and recycled paper. During the clean-up operation, part of the debris being hauled from the scene caught fire in a truck traveling along SR 243. Fire units were sent to the scene to extinguish the blaze.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Absolutely horrific. I don't even want to imagine what that driver must have experienced. Thoughts are also with the emergency personnel as that will be a hard scene to put out of their minds.

-- Posted by brazilian on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 9:48 AM

Prayers to everybody involved with this horrendous accident!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 11:02 AM

This has just made me sick . My husband drives for Averitt . we knew this driver . just makes me sick . prayers are for the family . just horrible . the construction is bad but the traffic needs to so heed the signs and speed limits . I believe they really need to put more officers thru there to make sure that it is enforced . I do not think this is gonna be the last through here . please remember the family . and please do not post any negative things on here for a change . let's just try and remember the pain and sorrow the families are going through .

-- Posted by piggie on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 11:14 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.God be with you all .Im so sorry to hear about your loss.

-- Posted by wisperinghope@yahoo.com on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 1:10 PM

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.God be with you all .Im so sorry to hear about your loss.

-- Posted by wisperinghope@yahoo.com on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 1:11 PM

So heartbreaking

-- Posted by localgal on Thu, Aug 18, 2011, at 10:45 PM

My prayers to the family also,I am a retired driver and have seen this scenario on quite a few occassions,

Its not an easy thing to erase from your minds at all.

-- Posted by T-REX on Fri, Aug 19, 2011, at 10:11 AM

"and please do not post any negative things on here for a change" - starting with you, PIGGIE.

My heart goes out to the families. With construction going on, it IS VERY DANGEROUS on I-70. Please, PLEASE slow down!

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 11:43 AM

I only state the truth on here EMMES . and you sure have allot of room to type .

-- Posted by piggie on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 5:43 PM

Want to appologize . should not have went to that level and even made a remark . I am better than that . and I am sorry .

-- Posted by piggie on Tue, Aug 23, 2011, at 6:09 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: