Indianapolis man dies in I-70 crash

Traffic backup on I-70 (picture courtesy INDOT)
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Marion County - An Indianapolis man died Monday morning in a chain reaction crash on I-70. The accident happened in the construction zone on westbound I-70 near the airport.

The construction zone is a challenge because of the amount of traffic that rolls through, but in this case it's possible the vehicle that triggered the crash should not have been on this part of the road.

The road that leads to and from the airport has been under construction for months. On Monday, the seven-vehicle crash closed down I-70.

"There was an oversized load east on I-70 it struck the center temporary barriers dividing the east and west bound lanes and pushed that barrier into the westbound lane," said Sgt. David Bursten, Indiana State Police.

The result was a six-vehicle chain reaction crash that killed Judson Dye, 41, of Indianapolis. Four others were injured. The driver of the semi truck was Donald Taylor Jr., 54, also of Indianapolis. The truck, which is owned by Poindexter Transportation, was carrying an asphalt spreader.

Steve McKenzie saw the aftermath on his way home from work at the airport. His first thought was that people weren't paying attention.

"It's not marked very well. 45 mph is a joke. They fly through there," said McKenzie.

It was raining when the wreck happened, and the lanes in the construction zone appear narrow. But in this case, officials believe the drivers of the cars involved in the crash may not have had time to react.

"Something's apparently gone drastically wrong," said Sgt. Bursten.

All lanes reopened in the afternoon, but it took over six hours to get back to normal. Traffic was at a standstill for much of the day. Westbound traffic was being diverted to the Sam Jones Expressway while crews replaced the concrete barriers.

"We're going to work very hard to determine what the factors were," said Sgt. Bursten.

"I really feel bad for the person who lost his life this morning. That was tragic. It was a very ugly accident," said McKenzie.

Indiana State Police say the driver of the truck was cited for not having an oversized load permit in possession. The investigation now will look into whether the company was issued an oversized load permit.

Also, the problem may not have been the width of the lane but the height of clearance at the bridge that may have caused him to hit those barriers. traffic - Cameras, maps and real-time incidents