The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

June 4, 2014

Cause of I-69 crash still unknown

DALEVILLE — Indiana State Police are still unsure why a car stopped on Interstate 69 leading to an accident that killed 4-year-old Tavionna Ford of Indianapolis.

A Dodge pickup truck driven by Harold Shemberger, 72, of Michigan, crashed into the back of a Chrysler 300 after the car abruptly stopped while going north on I-69. The impact sent the car into the ditch just south of the 234 exit near Daleville.

Donna Randolph, 41, Tavionna’s grandmother, was driving the Chrysler that was carrying Tavionna; Monique Ford, 20; Larry Ford, 14 months; and Dejour-Kyrie Martin, 20. Monique Ford, the mother of Larry and Tavionna, is also 36 weeks pregnant.

Neither John Bowling, spokesman for state police, or Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn could offer any explanation for why the car came to a sudden stop. Bowling said the investigation is still ongoing.

Both Larry Ford and Martin were airlifted from the accident scene and flown to Indianapolis hospitals. Larry was in critical but stable condition at Riley Hospital for Children. Martin’s condition at Methodist Hospital was listed as serious.

Monique Ford, Randolph, Shemberger and his wife, Rosemary, were all taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie. All four were reported in fair condition Wednesday.

Hahn said emergency personnel were especially worried about Monique due to how far along she is in her pregnancy.

“We were concerned about whether she was going to go into labor and if the baby was OK,” Hahn said. “But they both seem to be doing fine.”

The autopsy on Tavionna was performed Wednesday. Hahn said cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma. He said the girl was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident but was not in a booster seat.

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.

Want more info? Visit for an additional story on the I-69 accident as well as videos from the scene.

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