I-465 re-opens after fiery crash

Traffic on I-465 southbound is back to normal after a fiery crash near 56th Street on the east side at around 12:45 pm Friday.

Fire was pouring from the cab of a semi trailer when firefighters arrived at the scene. In all, 13 Indianapolis Fire Department units responded, along with a Hazmat Tactical Unit, Indiana State Police and other agencies.

An ambulance crew pulled the driver and his passenger out of the burning cab. The driver, 52-year-old William Hosier, was uninjured. His passenger, 58-year-old Cynthia Hosier, was taken to Methodist Hospital in good condition.

The EMTs are credited for saving the Hosiers' lives after witnessing the crash.

Hosier told police he sneezed and reached down for a tissue. In that moment, he took his eyes off the road and the semi veered into the retaining wall of the interstate and split the fuel tanks open. A 50-foot trail of fuel caught fire as the truck continued careening out of control. The cab then struck an off-ramp abutment and burst into heavy flames with the driver and his passenger still inside.

The ambulance happened to be behind the truck when the crash occurred. The EMTs, Jason Tibbetts and Katie Warrick, stopped the ambulance and ran to the cab of the truck, broke the driver's side window, unlocked the door and pulled the man to safety. They then helped the woman out, who told them she had been asleep in the sleeping compartment of the cab before the crash.

Firefighters had the fire under control in around 15 minutes, and traffic ground to a halt. Crews had to clean up 200 gallons of diesel fuel and oil, which spilled from the split tanks into drains and Fall Creek, which runs under the interstate. Firefighters used absorbent booms and pillows to contain and dike the oil until a spill recovery team could arrive.

Firefighters also used around 60 50-lb. bags of kitty litter absorbent around the burned semi to prevent more oil and fuel from leaking into Fall Creek. That took about an hour.

The Marion County Board of Health and Indiana State Police took over the scene. The carrier company - Carter Express - assumed liability for the spill recovery and clean-up costs. They sent a wrecker to the scene from Paddacks Wrecker Service to remove the semi.

Traffic info