PD: Head-on collision on Indiana Toll Road leaves one dead

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A deadly crash on the Indiana Toll Road on mile marker 90 in Elkhart County brought westbound traffic to a to a standstill.


Around 5 p.m. on Monday night Dennis Freeman, 57, of South Bend died after he hit a semi truck head-on after he veered into on-coming traffic.


Medics first on the scene said the man had an extremely high blood sugar level, which officials said it is common with someone who has just had a heart attack. However, police said they will not be able to determine what caused the man to cross over into on-coming traffic the coroner releases autopsy results.

James Vasconcellos was one of many truck drivers who pulled over to wait for the traffic to clear up. He has been driving a semi truck for 20 years and said he has seen a lot of tragic accidents over the years, but it still shakes him up.


"No, you never get use to that. You never get use to seeing someone die out here on the road. It's just hard, it's pretty sad," said Vasconcellos.


Police said a silver sedan heading eastbound on the Indiana Toll Road crossed over the center median into on-coming traffic and hit this truck head-on. The truck driver tried to avoid the car lost control and swerved and landed in ditch.

Now police are investigating the crash and trying to piece together what happened."

We don't know if the driver fell asleep, if it was a medical condition, things like that. That will probably be up to the coroner to determine that cause there," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Jeff Whiteman.


For fellow truck drivers like Vasconcellos, he said it is a good reminder to stay alert on the road."

Anything can happen in a split second, so  you've got to always watch, always be careful," said Vanconcellos.


Vanconcellos said he not only feels for the family of the man who lost his life, but also the semi truck driver. The 33-year-old from Plainwell, Michigan, was released from Elkhart General Hospital and luckily he walked away without any injuries.

"He might heal from his wounds, but he is probably not going to heal mentally from that."









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