2 Days of Traffic Chaos

Monday, July 1, 2024

Tragic accidents on I-70 in the past two days have led to severe traffic chaos in Clay County.

On Thursday, a pedestrian was tragically killed on the interstate highway at mile marker 22 while walking in the driving lane.

The Clay County Coronerís Office released the name of the victim Sunday: The family has been notified about the death of James J Carder, 19, Wapakoneta, Ohio.

The next day, Friday, two accidents, one of them fatal, occurred along the portion of highway in Putnam County. These incidents have led to heavy traffic being redirected onto US40 through Clay County, causing congestion in the Brazil area again for hours.

According to Trooper Matt Ames, drugs and alcohol are not believed to be contributing factors in the fatal accident that occurred around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Bhagwant Singh, 49, of Indianapolis, was driving a 2023 Freightliner semi tractor-trailer westbound on Interstate 70 in the passing lane near the 35-mile marker with hazard lights activated because of traffic. When Singh felt something impact the rear of his semi while stopped.

A 2016 Nissan pickup truck traveling westbound in the passing lane allegedly failed to observe slowed/ stopped traffic and ran into the semi-tractor trailer.

Norma Rivera, 54, of New Castle, Delaware, succumbed to injuries at the scene and was pronounced deceased by the Putnam County Coronerís Office.

Two passengers in the pickup truck, an adult male and a child, were airlifted to Indianapolis hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Around 10 a.m., ISP announced the roads were back open. However, the traffic congestion continued for a while.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, westbound traffic on US40 was backed up in both lanes to the Clay/Putnam County line, with frustrated drivers looking for ways to avoid the delay.


In December 2023, another walking pedestrian was struck and killed in the same location by a red passenger car in the evening, around 8:15 p.m.

The Clay County Coronerís Office positively identified the first victim as Fredy Ramos Escobar of Kansas City, Kansas.

In January, the Indiana State Police requested public assistance about this case.

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