OSP warns of construction road dangers after Preble County man arrested in fatal crash

Local News

WAYNE COUNTY, Ind. (WDTN) — Indiana State Police said Friday four children were killed in a crash Thursday night on I-70 in Wayne County, Indiana.

Anesa Noel Acosta, 15, Quintin Michael McGowan, 13, Brekkin Riley Bruce, 8, and Trentin Beau Bruce, 6, were all killed in the crash. The driver of the passenger car, 34-year-old Aaron Bruce is from Kansas City, Missouri, according to the ISP. Officials did not specify where the children were from.

Indiana State Police said I-70 was reopened around 5 am Friday.

The three-vehicle crash happened west of the Cambridge City exit and just west of a construction zone. Officials say it appears drugs were a contributing factor in the crash and criminal charges will be filed.

A preliminary investigation indicates a 2004 Kenworth Tractor pulling a loaded box trailer was heading east when the driver ran into traffic that had slowed to merge for a construction zone. According to ISP, the driver did not slow down and rear-ended a car, pushing it forward into another semi-trailer.

The 31-year-old driver of the Kenworth is from Camden, Ohio and was able to escape with non-life-threatening injuries. That driver has been arrested and taken to the Wayne County Jail. The Wayne County Sheriff said in a release Friday the driver could face charges of reckless homicide and operating while intoxicated causing death. 

Ohio State Highway Patrol said since the crash happened in Indiana, they wouldn’t speak to it, but did tell 2 NEWS, construction zones always add another layer of danger.

“We have to be aware and know what type of zone you’re going through,” said Sgt. Frank Simmons Jr. of OSP. “There’s people out there actively working, they’re not in vehicles, they’re on foot, they’re paying attention to their jobs so it’s incumbent on us to pay attention for them.”

During the pandemic, more people will use roads to travel, so Simmons said keeping your eyes out for all drivers is crucial. He says keep plenty of room between vehicles for an escape route if another vehicle isn’t aware of the shift in traffic because of construction.

“So you can swerve or make an evasive action,” said Simmons. “Sometimes in construction zones there isn’t a shoulder, so that means lanes are shifted. You have to be aware, you have to be aware of your surroundings at all times.”

And he warns it’s not just distracted drivers that pose a threat in construction zones.

“Some of the barrels now are plastic so they blow over and they’re in the road, there can be other debris from construction workers, maybe something fell out of their truck,” said Simmons. “Maybe the road’s been manipulated, maybe a lane shift, maybe it’s a split lane now.”

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