A truck driver from Kentucky died early Tuesday when he failed to change lanes and ran into an Indiana Department of Transportation vehicle blocking traffic for construction work on Interstate 65 at U.S. 50, police report.
James H. Foster, 65, of Louisville, was pronounced dead at the scene by Jackson County Coroner Michael Bobb, according to a news release from Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police.
Wheeles said the initial investigation by Trooper Korry Clark and ISP’s reconstruction team shows the wreck occurred as Foster was driving a 2014 Freightliner truck pulling a box trailer south and was approaching Exit 50 about 12:30 a.m.
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For an unknown reason, Foster did not change lanes to avoid an INDOT 2008 International dump truck that was parked in the right lane of the interstate, Wheeles reported.
The INDOT truck was unoccupied and was providing lane blockage for crews who were doing repairs to the I-65 overpass over U.S. 50. The INDOT vehicle had red and yellow flashing lights and a flashing arrow board at the time of the crash, police said.
After striking the INDOT vehicle, Foster lost control of his semitrailer, which overturned and came to rest partially on the roadway.
There were no other injuries in the crash.
Foster, who drove for Summit Trucking, was hauling approximately 35,000 pounds of frozen food at the time of the crash. The southbound lanes of I-65 were closed for nearly six hours for crash investigation and cleanup. Crews had to offload the frozen food from the trailer by hand prior to uprighting the vehicle.
Southbound traffic was diverted off of the interstate at Exit 64 in Bartholomew County over to U.S. 31 to Seymour before being able to return to I-65 at Exit 50.
The investigation is ongoing.
State police were assisted by officers with the Seymour Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Columbus Police Department and Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department; emergency personnel with Seymour Fire Department and Jackson County Emergency Medical Services; Jackson County Coroner’s Office; and 31 Wrecker Service.