ANGOLA, Ind. — The Indiana State Police (ISP) is investigating a fatal crash involving three 18-wheelers.
According to an ISP report, the incident happened on Dec. 12 at the eastbound toll plaza along Interstate 80/90 in Steuben County, Indiana, approximately four miles west of the Indiana/Ohio state line.
Trooper Samuel Waterhouse’s preliminary investigation noted that at approximately 8:15 a.m., Edwin Lee Bottelman, 73, of Greeley, Iowa, was operating a blue 2020 Freightliner semi pulling a bulk tank trailer eastbound on I-80/90.
“Prior to the crash, Bottelman was coming into the toll plaza at a high rate of speed with no evidence of slowing or braking prior to impacting two other semi’s that were in line for the toll plaza,” the ISP report stated.
Bottelman’s semi first struck the trailer of a 2017 Freightliner that was stopped in lane five of the toll plaza. After that, Bottelman’s truck continued toward the right and funneled over into lane three, where it rear-ended the trailer of a 2018 Freightliner that was stopped at the number three toll booth.
Upon impact, a majority of Bottelman’s tractor ran underneath the second trailer, causing catastrophic damage to the passenger compartment, the ISP reported.
Bottelman was pronounced dead at the scene by the Steuben County coroner.
The driver of first semi struck, Issayas Gilu, 38, of Texas, was not injured.
The driver of the second rig struck, Ahmednoor Siyad, 35, of Minnesota, was transported with minor injuries to Parkview Regional hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, by Steuben County EMS.
Both drivers submitted to chemical testing as required by Indiana law. There were no other vehicles damaged nor injuries reported due to this crash.
“Although not conclusive, investigators suspect that Mr. Bottelman may have suffered a medical problem which may have contributed to the initial loss of control,” the ISP report stated. “That portion of the investigation remains under investigation with the Steuben County Coroner’s Office. The family of Mr. Bottelman have been notified of his death.”
This remains an active investigation.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.