By Rod Rose The Lebanon Reporter
---- — DOVER — A man died instantly, and three other people were injured, after a Pontiac Grand Prix sedan was crushed under a jack-knifing semi truck on Indiana 32 in front of Pleasant View Church, just west of CR 500 W, Wednesday.
Anthony Cowell, 60, of Crawfordsville, was identified as the vicitim of the crash. He was the only occupant of the Grand Prix.
Investigators determined that the driver of a semi-truck, pulling an unloaded grain trailer west on Ind. 32, tried to stop quickly because of a slowing vehicle, said Boone County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Chris Burcham.
The semi-truck skidded across the two-lane highway; Cowell was unable to stop in time and crashed into the right side of the truck’s frame, just ahead of its rear wheels. Cowell suffered massive injuries to the head and throat, Advance Fire Chief Jim Caldwell said at the scene.
The truck driver was not injured; alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, Burcham said. The truck was registered to Kaplan Trucking Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Officers at the scene called for a Spanish language interpreter to help them in questioning the truck driver.
Two other crashes immediately followed the fatal wreck, Burcham said. One, involving two semi-trucks that were also westbound, involved no injuries and was being investigated by the Indiana State Police, he said.
Three occupants of a Dodge Neon, registered in Kentucky, suffered unknown injuries when that car struck the rear of a semi-truck registered to ETI Transport, Ontario, Canada. Both those vehicles were eastbound; the ETI Transport semi came within inches of hitting the Kaplan Trucking Co. vehicle. The three occupants of the Neon were taken to Witham Memorial Hospital by Boone County EMS.
Ind. 32 was closed for several hours for an investigation of the crash and removal of the vehicles. Eastbound vehicles on Ind. 32 were detoured north and south on Ind. 75 at Dover. Westbound drivers were initially diverted onto CR 500 W. An Indiana Department of Transportation crew later set up a road block at Enterprise Boulevard and Ind. 32, detouring traffic through Lebanon Business Park to Ind. 39, where vehicles could either turn right to go south on Ind. 39, or left to Interstate 65.
Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy R. T. Krise took the initial report; the Boone County Fatal and Alcohol Crash Team was leading the investigation.
Lebanon and Zionsville police assisted with traffic control.