A wheel which came off a vehicle traveling southbound on I-65 resulted in the fatality of a northbound motorist.
The preliminary investigation reveals that at approximately 12:50 pm this afternoon, Peter D. Gaetano, 51, of Covert, Michigan was driving his blue, 2016 GMC pickup truck southbound near the 2.8 mile marker when the rear driver’s side wheel came off his vehicle as he was traveling in the third lane of I-65 just north of Eastern Boulevard. After breaking loose from the vehicle, the wheel became airborne, crossing over the concrete median wall and into the northbound lanes of I-65. The wheel collided with a white Chevrolet pick-up truck driven by Olivia Kustes,18, of Rineyville, Kentucky, causing fatal injuries. The pickup truck continued north into the righthand emergency lane and appeared not to be stopping. A commercial vehicle driver, Alvin P. Logan, 45, Chicago, Illinois, realized the vehicle was not stopping and placed his semi-truck in front of the vehicle driven by Kustes and slowly brought it to a stop on the right side of the interstate.
Clarksville City Police units were first to arrive on scene and requested the aid of Indiana State Police crash reconstructionists who are investigating the crash.
The two right-hand lanes of I-65 northbound remained closed until approximately 4:00 pm.
Olivia Kustes was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by the Clark County Coroner’s Office.
The Indiana State Police were assisted by units from the Clarksville Police Department, the Clarksville Fire Department, the Clark County Coroner’s Office, and the Indiana Department of Transportation.