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Three killed in Toll Road crash

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Toll Road was closed temporarily due to a crash near mile marker 84 after a several vehicle crash that claimed three lives.

Sgt. Ted Bohner with Indiana State Police confirmed three fatalities after a dark-colored Toyota Camry traveled against traffic causing several vehicles to hit one another.

According to ISP, calls came in at 7:26 p.m. with reports of an erratic driver near mile marker 83.

The Camry was heading eastbound and pulled over where it turned around near mile marker 88, one mile east of the Mishawaka exit. The Camry allegedly began driving westbound against eastbound traffic.

ISP got a report of a crash at 7:32 p.m.

The investigation showed the Camry had collided with a Chevy Tahoe head on as it was passing a semi driven by 30-year-old Ivan Radov of Berrien Springs. Troopers say a Chevy Malibu swerved to avoid the crash and lost control, crashing into barrels. The driver, 26-year-old Jasmine White, was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injures.

The Tahoe came to a rest in the center median on its side and caught fire. Bystanders righted the vehicle and, along with troopers, attempted to put out the engine fire. The front seat passenger, 42-year-old Denita Rice, was pronounced dead at the scene. Bryson Rice, 1, also died at the scene. Makayla Lanier, 12, was taken to the hospital but died of her injuries. Nila Watkens, 10, was flown to Riley's Children's Hospital with serious injuries. The driver, Octavius Rice, was taken to Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.

The driver of the Camry, 32-year-old Chintan Patel of South Bend, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. He died of his injuries at the hospital.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this crash.

CREDIT: MEGHAN ELLIOTT

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