Trucker’s ‘Medical Issue’ Suspected as Cause For Deadly Scale House Crash
West Harrison, IN – Police say a “medical issue” may have played a role in an early morning crash when a trucker plowed into a scale house in Indiana on Wednesday, resulting in his death.
According to Indiana State Police (ISP), the accident took place at approximately 5:10 a.m. near the West Harrison weigh station at the Indiana/Ohio state line on Interstate 74.
Officials said 63-year-old James G. Bristol, of Jefferson City, TN, was operating a 2021 Freightliner westbound on I-74 near mile marker 171 when, for unknown reasons, the truck “left the travel portion of the roadway.”
The truck traveled into the grassy median and directly into the scale house, where it came to rest.
ISP’s Chris Barr told local outlet WLWT a witness to the accident noted Bristol had a turn signal on, but did not appear to make any attempt to brake and hit the building at full speed.
WLWT reported emergency responders were on the scene for “hours” attempting to locate the trucker in the rubble.
ISP stated tow trucks were called to the scene to pull the semi away from the building to gain access to the driver.
When Bristol was located, he was found to have sustained fatal injuries.
The scale house was closed and nobody was inside at the time of the accident, ISP confirmed.
Additionally, the scale house was completely destroyed in the accident.
Investigators are working to reconstruct the scene and determine exactly what led to the fatal crash.
However, a press release by ISP indicated a medical issue may have played a role in the crash.
Further, drugs and alcohol are not suspected to be factors, ISP stated.
An autopsy on Bristol is pending.
In a Facebook tribute, Bristol’s son, also named James, called time with his father — a longtime trucker — some of the “best memories” of his life.
Officials are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact ISP at (812) 689-5000.