ANDERSON – A two-vehicle collision and resulting fire on southbound Interstate 69 Monday afternoon claimed the life of a Westfield man.
Multiple lanes of the highway were shut down for several hours due to the investigation and cleanup.
Indiana State Police identified the accident victim as Lee Arthur Ken Ingles, 50, of Westfield.
According to the ISP news release, the preliminary investigation by the ISP Pendleton Post crash reconstruction team said a white 2009 Toyota Avalon, being driven by Beau J. White, 48, of Kokomo, was traveling northbound in the left lane of I-69 near mile-marker 227 in Madison County. At approximately 3:43 p.m., White's vehicle left the roadway and traveled into the median of I-69, striking and proceeding through the dividing cable barrier.
White's vehicle went into the southbound left lane and into the path of a white 2021 Jeep Gladiator driven by Ingles. The vehicles collided nearly head-on. After impact Ingles' vehicle veered to the right, traveled off the roadway into the west ditch, where it caught fire.
Trooper Michael Garcia, who was traveling through the area, saw the wrecked vehicles and immediately responded. Seeing fire coming from the engine compartment of the Jeep Gladiator, Garcia rushed to the burning vehicle as bystanders pulled the unresponsive driver from the vehicle. Life-saving attempts were unsuccessful and it was determined that Ingles had succumbed to his injuries, according to the ISP release.
White was transported via ambulance to St. Vincent Hospital in Anderson. His injuries were not believed to be life threatening, according to the release.
Troopers diverted all southbound traffic off of I-69 at the Daleville Exit 234. All lanes of the interstate were reopened to traffic about 7 p.m. State police said the investigation is ongoing, pending autopsy and toxicology results.
Assisting at the crash scene were Indiana State Police Master Trooper Coley McCutcheon, Trooper Mark Hanna, the Madison County Sheriff's Department, Madison County Emergency Management; the Chesterfield Police Department, Anderson Fire and EMS, Miller's Towing, and the Madison County Coroner's Office.