4 children killed in Wayne Co. I-70 crash; semi driver charged with OWI
CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. (WISH) — A fiery crash on Interstate 70 involving a car and two semitractor-trailers on Thursday afternoon resulted in four fatalities, Indiana State Police said.
Police said those killed in the crash were:
- 15-year-old Anesa Acosta
- 13-year-old Quintin McGowan
- 8-year-old Brekkin Bruce
- 6-year-old Trentin Bruce
Police said all four were in the passenger car. The driver of the car has been identified as 34-year-old Aaron Bruce, of Kansas City, Missouri.
Corey Withrow, 31, of Camden, Ohio, was arrested in the case. Police say Withrow was driving his semi while under the influence of drugs.
Online court records show previous drug convictions in Preble County, Ohio.
He faces four counts of reckless homicide, four counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and one count of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury.
Police say Withrow was driving erratically and speeding in a construction zone.
I-70 remained closed more than five hours after the crash. Police said it was reopened around 5 a.m. Friday morning.
Wayne County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to a report of a crash shortly after 5:05 p.m. Thursday in the eastbound lanes of I-70 just west of the State Road 1 exit. That’s about 13 miles west of Richmond.
State police did not provide the number of fatalities, but said they all were from the car involved in the crash.
An initial investigation found a 2004 Kenworth semitractor pulling a loaded box trailer was eastbound when it came upon traffic that had slowed to merge into the left passing lane for a construction zone.
“The Kenworth failed to slow down and hit a Chevrolet passenger car in the rear that was slowed in the right lane, pushing it forward into the left rear corner of a semi trailer which was also in the right lane directly in front of the passenger car,” said a news release from state police. “The first semi continued pushing the passenger car into the left lane and eventually off onto the berm of the left lane where the two vehicles burst into flames. A passerby was able to pull the driver of the passenger car out of the vehicle, but none of his passengers.”
The car’s driver was not identified in the news release. He was taken to an Indianapolis hospital with severe injuries, police said.
Withrow escaped his burning semi with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. He was taken to Reid Health hospital in Richmond.
Thomas Flaherty, 57, of Springfield, Ohio, drove the other semi. He was not uninjured, police said.
This story has been updated to correct Withrow’s age.