The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

June 3, 2014

One child killed, six injured in I-69 accident


A 4-year-old girl was killed and six others were injured when a car stopped on Interstate 69 and was hit from behind by a pickup truck Tuesday.

Indiana State Police confirmed the accident killed Tavionna Ford, of Indianapolis, who was riding in the back seat of the car. She was not wearing a child restraint.

She was rushed to IU Health's Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie where she died. The exact cause of her death was not released. The girl had celebrated her fourth birthday in May.

Tavionna's 14-month-old brother, Larry Ford, who was in a child restraint seat, and a family friend, Dejour-Kyrie Martin, 20, were both riding in the back seat with Tavionna. They were airlifted by helicopters from the scene.

Larry Ford was flown to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis with unknown injuries. Martin was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and was being treated for internal injuries, according to police.

Investigators said a 2002 Chrysler 300 driven by Donna Randolph, 41, of Indianapolis, abruptly stopped in the right travel lane going north on I-69 at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Randolph's daughter, Monique Ford, 20, who is 36 weeks pregnant, was in the front passenger seat. She is the mother of Larry and Tavionna.

The cause of the stop was not known as no traffic problems were reported at the time. A Dodge pickup truck driven by Harold Shemberger Jr., 72, of Michigan, crashed into the back of the car, sending it into a ditch just south of the 234 exit near Daleville. His wife, Rosemary, 76, was riding with him. 

Randolph, Monique Ford and the Shembergers were all taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

The accident shut down traffic in both directions for about an hour before the southbound lanes were reopened. Two helicopters landed on the interstate to take the injured to hospitals.

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