Three tractor-trailers were involved in a collision on Interstate 70 in Indiana Monday night, Nov. 30, leaving one trucker hospitalized with what authorities called “critical injuries.”
Indiana State Police say the collision began at about 11:18 p.m. when the driver of a Chevy Suburban towing a travel trailer on westbound I-70 lost control on an ice-covered bridge. The rig overturned and blocked the left lane.
A secondary crash involving the three tractor-trailers occurred as traffic backed up, also in the westbound lanes. ISP said its preliminary crash investigation found a 2018 International semi-tractor, pulling an enclosed box trailer, was westbound in the right lane of I-70. The truck, driven by Emory Rockafellow, 45, of Clarkston, Michigan, failed to stop for the stopped traffic ahead, according to ISP. Rockafellow swerved to the right in an attempt to avoid colliding with the stopped traffic but struck the right rear of an enclosed box trailer of another semi at nearly full speed.
The second semi, a 2018 Freightliner, driven by Orifjon Usanov, 33, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, was pushed forward and struck the rear of a livestock trailer of a third semi, a 2007 Kenworth, driven by Robert Lee, 44, of Lumberton, North Carolina. Neither Usanov nor Lee sustained any injuries.
Rockafellow was entrapped within the cab of his semi and it took nearly an hour to free him from the vehicle, according to ISP. Once extricated, he was transported by ambulance to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
ISP said I-70 was shut down for over six hours.