A semi-truck was speeding when it ran into the back a line of cars stuck in traffic, leading to the crash, local news station WANE reported.
The crash took place around 12 p.m. on July 14 on I-465 near Keystone Avenue.
— RTV6 Indianapolis (@rtv6) July 15, 2019
The mother, identified as 29-year-old Alanna N. Koons, and her twin 18-month-old daughters, June and Ruby Koons, were found unresponsive. They were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, the report said.
Seven other people were taken to nearby hospitals. One was in “very critical” condition, said police.
Bruce Pollard of Sturgeon, Michigan, was identified as the driver of the semi-truck, said police after a preliminary investigation. Pollard is accused of slamming into the back of Koons’ vehicle before five other vehicles were struck.
An Indianapolis mother and her twin 18-month-old daughters were killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 465 on the north side of the city yesterday. https://t.co/AceZcHO4vw
— WANE 15 (@wane15) July 15, 2019
Pollard, 57, was arrested on reckless homicide charges and five counts of criminal recklessness causing injury. Officials said he was driving above the posted speed limit.
According to The Indy Channel, Pollard told officials that a car not involved in the collision cut him off before the driver slammed on their breaks and sped away. Pollard said he was forced to slam on his brakes before running into traffic.
A look at the crash shutting down I-465 EB near Keystone Ave. The interstate will be shut down for another 4 hours as extensive cleanup happens. pic.twitter.com/N1nn85KZ8H
— INDOT East Central (@INDOTEast) July 14, 2019
However, police found he was going “well above” the speed limit at the time of the crash, WANE noted.
The Indianapolis Star reported that one vehicle was dragged about 900 feet before hitting two other vehicles. Debris from the crash spread alone three-quarters of a mile, said the Indianapolis Fire Department.
Pollard was working for Weston Transportation of Sturgeon, Missouri, fire department spokeswoman Rita Reith told The Indy Channel.
Elaborating on the severity of the situation, hazardous materials workers were called to clean up engine fluids from the truck.
“This is one of those that has a ripple effect on so many people. In a split second, dozens of lives are affected,” Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine told Fox59.
Other details about the case are not clear.
Avoid eastbound I-465 on the north side of Indy this afternoon. Multiple vehicles are involved in a crash that has shut down the interstate at the overpass directly over Keystone Avenue. #Traffic @WTHRcom pic.twitter.com/MVjykRiKq1
— Ben Reiff (@BenReiff) July 14, 2019
Fatal Car Crashes
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, analyzing data from the Department of Transportation, there were 37,461 deaths from car accidents in 2016, the last year full data is available for.
The deaths occurred across 34,439 fatal motor vehicle accidents. The number means 11.6 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, although those numbers can vary widely across states.
The majority of fatal accidents are single-vehicle crashes, the institute noted.