Semi driver arrested following six-vehicle fatal Toll Road crash
At 3 p.m., state troopers were called to the eastbound lanes of the Toll Road, near mile-marker 71, for a serious crash involving several vehicles.
When troopers arrived, officers with the South Bend Police Department were on scene.
The investigation shows that eastbound traffic was slowing for construction in the area when a red 2020 International semi allegedly didn’t slow down and crashed into several vehicles.
The driver of the semi, identified as 26-year-old Chasen Thompson of Hamlin, New York, was arrested for possession of marijuana and taken to the St. Joseph County Jail.
A gold 1997 Geo was struck and pushed into the center median during the crash. Two backseat passengers were taken to the hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The Geo’s front seat passenger, identified as 82-year-old Jacqueline Luczak of Cicero, Illinois, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A black 2015 Jeep was hit and immediately caught on fire as it came to a stop in the center of the eastbound lanes. The driver of the Jeep, identified as 45-year-old Eric Klein of Anna, Ohio, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The front seat passenger of a white 2013 Cadillac was taken to the hospital for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of a fourth vehicle was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
The driver of a fifth vehicle was not injured.
This is an ongoing investigation.
At the end of the investigation, information will be sent to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office to decide if additional charges are warranted.
Westbound lanes opened at around 7:20 p.m. Eastbound lanes opened at around 8:20 p.m.