Distracted Truck Drivers Cause Two Fatal Accidents Along I-70, Police Say

Clay County, Indiana – Interstate 70 between Brazil and Terre Haute turned deadly Saturday morning as two fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers happened within a couple of hours.

Police say the first of the two accidents occurred just after 9 a.m. A tractor-trailer was operating in the left lane of westbound on I-70 near mile-marker 10 when a tire blowout caused the rig to lose control, veer into the median and become entangled in guide wire.

Indiana State Police (ISP) and emergency crews were called to the scene and were working to free the rig when investigators say another tractor-trailer, whose driver was distracted, failed to stop for the slowed traffic. The semi plowed into the rear of an RV before continuing on and striking a passenger vehicle and another tractor-trailer.


ISP said one person died and two more were taken to local hospitals. The name of the deceased has not yet been released.

Dropped Sandwich Leads To Second Fatal Accident

As crews continued working to clear the first accident, truck driver Joe Robinson Jr. of Indianapolis was also traveling westbound near mile marker 17 when he dropped his sandwich. Robinson then reached for the sandwich and told police he took his eyes off of the road for just a moment.

Once he looked back at the road it was too late. He failed to see traffic was slowed, according to ISP.

Robinson swerved but struck another semi-truck driven by Michael Workman, 30, of Glendale, Arizona, in the rear causing its fuel tank to ignite. Robinson’s truck continued until it came to rest in the median.

April Robinson, 45, of Indianapolis, was in the sleeper berth at the time of the accident. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Charles Tolbert, 52, of Yuma, Arizona, was in the sleeper berth of Workman’s truck and police say was transported to a local hospital having sustained neck and back injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.


Neither driver was injured in the wreck. Investigators confirmed drugs and alcohol are not believed to be contributing factors to either accident.

In a statement, Sgt. Matt Ames with ISP, implored drivers to eliminate distractions while behind-the-wheel. “All we ask people to do is put down your sandwiches, like we saw here today, and put down your phones and be looking through your windshield while you’re driving,” Ames said.

Ames also reminded drivers to remain alert at all times. “And be sure to Check your side and rear-view mirrors to know what’s happening all around you,” he said.

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