CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. — The Indiana State Police have confirmed that four children died in an accident that involved two tractor-trailers and a Chevrolet passenger vehicle on Interstate 70 in Wayne County, Indiana. The driver of one of the trucks is facing multiple charges, including operating a vehicle while intoxicated as well as reckless homicide.
Around 5 p.m. on July 9, Wayne County Deputies responded to a three-vehicle crash on I-70 near the Cambridge City exit, just west of a construction zone. Upon arrival, deputies found a Chevrolet car and a 2004 Kenworth tractor with a loaded box trailer off the left side of eastbound I-70, both fully engulfed in flames.
The preliminary investigation by law enforcement indicated that the Kenworth was eastbound in the right lane when the drive came upon traffic that had slowed to merge into the left lane for a construction zone.
The Kenworth, now known to be driven by 33-year-old Corey Withrow of Camden, Ohio, failed to slow as it approached the slowed traffic and rear-ended a Chevrolet car in the right lane, pushing the car forward into the left rear corner of a tractor-trailer that was also in the right lane, directly in front of the passenger car. The Kenworth continued, pushing the passenger car into the left lane and eventually onto the berm of the left lane, where the two vehicles burst into flames.
A passerby was able to pull the driver of the passenger car from the vehicle but was unable to rescue the four passengers from the car. Indiana State Police Investigators have identified the fatalities as Anesa Noel Acosta, 15; Quintin Michael McGowan, 13; Brekkin Riley Bruce, 8; and Trentin Beau Bruce, 6. The driver of the car, 34-year-old Aaron Bruce of Kansas City, Missouri, was transported to a hospital in Indianapolis with severe injuries.
Withrow escaped the burning semi with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the tractor-trailer that was hit from behind has been identified as Thomas Flaherty, 57, of Springfield, Ohio. He was not injured.
According to public jail records, Withrow has been charged with Level 4 and Level 5 operating while intoxicated; reckless homicide, Level 5; four counts of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death; and causing catastrophic injury while operating intoxicated. Jail records indicate Withrow was released at 11:40 p.m. July 10. To view the jail record via the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, click here.
Local news affiliate, WTHR, has reported that preliminary toxicology reports indicate that Withrow was under the influence of multiple drugs.
The Indiana Motor Truck Association shared these thoughts via Facebook: “Four young lives were taken because of Cory Withrow. Cory should have never been behind the wheel of a semi, but he was, and he made terrible and reckless decisions that will impact these families forever.”
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