Distracted Driving Results in a Deadly Accident

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1927 US 40 West 
Greencastle, IN 46135


FOR RELEASE: Upon Receipt

Sgt. Matt Ames
Public Information Officer

DATE: 3-1619

Distracted Driving Results in a Deadly Accident

Clay County, Indiana - The Indiana State Police are investigating a crash between two semi tractor-trailers which occurred late this morning on Interstate 70 westbound, that claimed the life of an Indianapolis woman.

Preliminary investigation by Master Trooper Jeremy Lewis, who was located within the area helping to slow traffic due to an earlier accident at the 10 mile marker, indicates that at approximately 11:53 a.m., a 2017 Freightliner semi tractor-trailer, driven by Joe L. Robinson Jr., 49, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was traveling westbound on Interstate 70 near the 17 mile marker. Robinson stated that he had dropped his sandwich and had leaned over to pick it up, taking his eyes off the roadway.  He stated that once he looked back to the road, he immediately observed slowed or stopped traffic in front of him.  Robinson stated that he attempted to avoid a collision with another semi tractor-trailer by steering hard to the left.  Being unable to avoid a collision, Robinson then struck a 2018 Freightliner semi tractor-trailer clipping the rear and causing its fuel tank to burst into flames.  Robinson’s tractor-trailer continued to travel towards the south side of Interstate 70, eventually going into the median and coming to a stop. The 2018 Freightliner struck by Robinson was driven by Michael A. Workman, 30, of Glendale, Arizona.

A passenger, April L. Robinson, 45, of Indianapolis, Indiana, who was located in the sleeper berth of Robinson’s tractor-trailer during the time of the accident, was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Clay County Coroner's Office.

A passenger, Charles T. Tolbert, 52 of Yuma, Arizona, who was located in the sleeper berth of Workman’s tractor-trailer, received neck and back injuries from the impact of the accident.  Tolbert was taken by LifeLine to a hospital in Indianapolis.  Tolbert’s injuries were non-life threatening.  

The drivers of both semi tractor-trailers were not injured, as both were wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.  

Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a contributing factor of the accident.

Family members have been notified.

Several good Samaritans, who witnessed the accident, worked to assist the Indiana State Troopers by using fire extinguishers to put out the fire.  Individuals also helped by rendering first-aid to those involved in the accident.  

Assisting Agencies:  Posey Township Fire Department, Indiana Department of Transportation, Clay County Coroner's Office, Eddington’s Wrecker Service.  

Photos attached





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