Two dead in interstate accident - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Two dead in interstate accident

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Shelby County -  Two occupants of a van were killed and 16 others were injured when a full size passenger van was struck from behind on I-65 northbound near Edinburgh early Sunday morning.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call from a motorist advising of a serious crash at the 80 mile marker on I-65 at 3:30 a.m.

Emergency personnel and law enforcement arrived and found the crash between a semi-tractor- trailer and a van in the northbound lanes of the interstate

According to witnesses both vehicles were traveling northbound when the van slowed and was attempting to enter the shoulder of the roadway when it was struck by the semi.  Witnesses also say that the truck was weaving on the roadway prior to the crash.

Evidence at the scene suggest that the truck struck the van from the rear and forced it off of the roadway, causing it to invert. Multiple injuries were reported in both vehicles.

Two passengers from the van were pronounced dead at the scene and 16 other passengers were transported to Columbus Regional Hospital, Johnson County Memorial Hospital or Methodist Hospital.  The injuries sustained to the passengers in the van ranged from very minor to critical in nature.  The Freightliner driver, 42-year-old Randall Lewis Chriscoe from Ramseur, North Carolina, was transported to Johnson County Hospital for minor injuries.

The deceased victims were identified as Vijay R. Patel, 20, from Bridgeview, IL and Sujal D. Patel, 20, from Summit IL.

As of Monday afternoon, four occupants of the van were still at Methodist. Two were scheduled for release shortly and the other two were listed in serious but stable condition. All other victims in this crash have been treated and released. Several of the victims were children. 

The crash is under investigation by the Shelby County Fatal Crash Team. Blood samples were taken from both drivers and sent to the Indiana State Department of Toxicology for testing. 

The crash investigation was assisted by the Flat Rock Fire Department, Edinburgh Medical personnel, Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department, Columbus Fire Department, Shelbyville Fire Department Medics, Indiana State Police and the Shelby County Prosecutors Office.

Interstate 65 northbound was closed at the 80 mile marker for approximately 5 hours.  Traffic was re-routed and no delays were reported.  There were no other incidents reported from the road closure. 

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