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Overturned cement truck causes serious I-70 accident

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

An overturned cement truck landed on a vehicle and claimed the life of a passenger Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 70.
Putnam County -- At 4:14 this afternoon, Indiana State Police Troopers and Putnam County emergency agencies responded to a two-vehicle crash in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 at the 30 mile marker. The crash involved a cement truck and a sport utility vehicle with two persons injured and one deceased at the scene.

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2002 Ford Explorer driven by Georgia Mathews, age 70, Indianapolis, was stopped at a near stop in the eastbound passing lane due to construction.

In the front passenger seat was her husband Willis Lee Mathews, age 74, Indianapolis, and in the right rear passenger seat was their sister-in-law, Margaret Mathews, age 73, Indianapolis. Seatbelts were in use by all.

An eastbound 2001 Advance cement truck driven by William R. Lindeman, age 51, Spencer, was attempting to negotiate around a large section of freshly poured concrete in the eastbound driving lane, when the left wheels of the truck dropped into the wet concrete causing Lindeman to lose control. The cement truck then veered to the left and overturned onto the SUV. The cement truck was hauling cement and weighed approximately 70,000 lbs. Lindeman was taken to Putnam County Hospital for internal injuries, not believed to be life threatening.

The square of soft concrete was approximately 12 feet by 20 feet and 26 inches deep.

Georgia Mathews was uninjured and able to free herself from the SUV. Willis Mathews was trapped in the vehicle for nearly 110 minutes before being extricated by the Washington Township and Cloverdale Township Fire Departments. During the extrication, Curtis Wrecker Service had secured strap and chains to the cement truck and was able to lift some of the pressure off of the SUV. Willis Mathews was then airlifted by Air Evac helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of lower leg and internal injuries.

He was conscious during the entire extrication. The right rear passenger, Margaret Mathews, was pronounced deceased at the scene of blunt force trauma by Putnam County Deputy Coroner Steve Walters.

Family has been notified. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor. No citations issued.

I-70 eastbound and westbound was closed for nearly two hours due extrication and landing/take off of helicopter.

The crash was investigated by ISP Senior Trooper DuJuan Presley-McFadden. Assisting were multiple Putnamville District troopers, Putnam County Sheriff's Office, Putnam County Operation Life and Indiana Department of Transportation.

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