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Indiana Accident News

Distracted Truck Driver Involved in 9-Vehicle Accident on I-65 That Leaves 3 Dead

Posted Jan 06, 2020 by Matt Boulton

January 5th, 2020 — Zionsville, Indiana

Another high-profile accident involving a distracted semi-truck driver on Indiana’s interstates has led to a loss of life and multiple injuries.

According to Boone County Sheriff’s Department, semi-truck driver Matthew Small was traveling north on I-65 in Zionsville just after 11:00 a.m. on Sunday when he attempted to put his coffee mug back in its cup holder.

In the amount of time between when he looked down and back up to the road, his rig was headed toward slowing traffic. Unable to stop the semi in time, it collided with the car directly in front of him, which then resulted in a chain reaction involving a total of 8 other vehicles. The accident also ignited a fire in one of the vehicles and forced another over a guardrail and onto its side.

Mariah Tomey, 21, Hadley Tomey, 1, and Kaylee Kirk, 19, all residents of Lebanon, lost their lives in the accident. Victims from the other vehicles involved were taken to St. Vincent Hospital and were reported to have non-life threatening injuries.

The semi-truck driver, Mr. Small, was arrested and charged with 3 preliminary counts of reckless homicide. In Indiana, these charges qualify as a level 5 felony. Pending the final outcome of the investigation, all charges are subject to change.

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Being familiar with this section of Zionville and I-65, we consulted with the Indiana State Police Crash Prediction Tool to see if there have been a significant number of incidents at this location during this time of the day:

car crash risk on I-65 Zionsville

Mile Marker 129 @ I-65 N in Zionsville

The gray circle notes the location of Sunday’s accident. The area is also outlined in yellow, meaning that ISP has predicted a person’s chances of being in a crash at “medium” between the hours of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Indiana’s interstates and highways made risky by distracted driving

The details of Sunday’s accident also reminded us of a recent crash on I-465 involving another distracted truck driver that resulted in the deaths of a young mother and her twin daughters. Similarly, the truck driver involved in this accident was also distracted by his beverage, as he claimed to be reaching for an iced tea before looking up to see traffic in front of him had slowed.

Coincidentally, we recently published a distracted driving blog that discussed Governor Eric Holcomb’s charge to banish drivers from using handheld phones in their vehicles. And while neither of the above accidents involved a phone, it is clear that all forms of distracted driving remain the biggest threat to drivers on Indiana’s highways and interstates.

Whether it is your phone, a beverage, food, or anything that takes your eyes and concentration away from the road, please know that it can always wait.

Questions about a distracted driving accident?

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, it is important that you fully understand your rights. A single misstep can result in your case being dismissed by the insurance company.

Attorney Matt Boulton has helped and befriended injured Hoosiers for more than 20 years. He founded the Boulton Law Group to provide clients with a personalized approach to their legal problems. He also believes anyone injured through no fault of their own should have access to award-winning legal counsel.

For this reason, Boulton Law Group offers injured Hoosiers a Zero Fee Guarantee. This means that you will never be charged a consultation fee, and the only time the firm receives payment is after we win your case. This removes all risk for someone who may need legal representation but feels they may not be able to afford it.

To speak to attorney Boulton today, call 317-350-2680. Or if you prefer to write to us, you can send us your story via our confidential contact form.

Matt Boulton

Author Matt Boulton

Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 25 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana. He designed his firm for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.

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