UPDATE: The driver of the 2009 Chevrolet van has been identified as Richard McNamara III, age 48 of Valparaiso, IN.
ST. JOSEPH CO., Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana State Police say that Monday morning, around 9:17a.m., a two-vehicle crash on the Indiana Toll Road claimed a life. It happened in the eastbound lanes near the 71 mile marker.
Preliminary investigation showed that a white 2009 Chevrolet van collided with the rear of a teal and white 2005 Peterbilt semi being driven by Jose Navar, age 42 of Berkeley, IL. The investigation and witness accounts show that Navar had been stopped on the right berm with his hazard lights flashing when he began to speed up to merge back into the right lane of eastbound traffic. For an unknown reason the Chevrolet did not change lanes or slow and crashed into the back of the semi-trailer.
The Chevrolet came to a stop in the left lane of the eastbound lanes and suffered extensive front end damage. The Peterbilt driven by Navar came to a stop on the right berm. Eastbound traffic was stopped for approximately 25 minutes for reconstruction. The left lane was blocked for approximately an hour and a half for crash investigation and clean up. Traffic was able to get by using the right lane. The driver of the van was pronounced deceased at the scene by the St. Joseph County Coroner’s Office. Navar was not injured in this crash.
The Indiana State Police were assisted by The South Bend Fire Department, Warren Township Fire Department and the St. Joseph County Coroner’s Office.
This is an ongoing investigation. Name of the deceased will be released pending family notification.