Monday at approximately 7:20 A.M. on I-74 westbound at the 32.5-mile marker, a semi struck a passenger vehicle that was stopped in the roadway, pushed the vehicle through the median and both vehicles came to rest in the ditch on the eastbound side of the roadway.
The preliminary investigation has concluded that a gray 2013 Dodge Journey was westbound when the vehicle struck a deer which disabled the car in the right lane. The vehicle at the time did not appear to have operational lights working after the crash.
A red 2019 Kenworth owned by Dusharm Transport out of Hoffman Estates, IL and driven by Kenneth M. Dusharm, 55 of Carmel, IN was also in the right lane and did not see the disabled Dodge and struck the car in the rear, pushing it through the median, across the eastbound lanes and coming to rest in the ditch on the south side of the interstate blocking both lanes of traffic.
The driver of the Dodge was Christina Mendoza, 26 of Hillsboro, IN. She was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Montgomery County Coroner. The family has been notified. Ducharme was not injured.
Alcohol nor drugs appear to be a factor in the crash. The conditions of the roadway were wet and the weather conditions was light fog. The interstate was closed eastbound for about four and a half hours for re-construction of the crash, caring for the injured and cleanup of the crash scene.
The crash was investigated by Trooper Doug Feazel with assistance from Trooper Dave Millburg.
Assisting at the scene was Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, Sergeant Roger Dickison of the ISP Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division, INDOT and Wilson’s Towing. The investigation is continuing.