I-65 crashes leave 2 dead

Two Indianapolis residents died early Tuesday morning after their van was involved in a wreck that occurred in traffic backed up from an earlier wreck on Interstate 65 two miles south of Seymour, police report.

According to Sgt. Stephen Wheeles’ investigation, Thomas L. Harding, 62, and Joyce M. Harding, 59, died when the 2003 GMC he was driving ran into the rear-end of a 2013 Freightliner pulling a trailer driven by Jacek Kamienski, 47, of Burbank, Illinois.

That wreck was reported shortly before 7 a.m. near the 48-mile marker in the southbound lanes of the interstate.

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Both Hardings were pronounced dead at the scene by Jackson County Coroner Michael Bobb.

Francisco J. Rodriguez, 19, of Indianapolis, was riding in the back seat of the Harding vehicle. He was treated and taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour and then flown to University of Louisville with serious injuries, said Wheeles, who is the public information officer for the Indiana State Police Post at Versailles. Rodriguez’s condition was not available at press time.

Wheeles said Kamienski was slowing his 2006 Volvo semitrailer as traffic began backing up from the earlier wreck and Thomas Harding was unable to stop into time to avoid hitting it. Kamienski was not injured.

The earlier wreck involved a 2016 Freightliner driven by Donald W. Pickens of Manchester, Tennessee, and a 2013 Freightliner pulling a flatbed trailer driven by Gordon A. Gorr Jr. of Indianapolis.

Pickens was treated by emergency personnel and taken to Schneck Medical Center for treatment of injuries after that wreck, which was reported at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. Gorr was not injured.

That wreck, investigated by Trooper Jason Duncan, led to partial blockage of the southbound lanes of the interstate near the 47-mile-marker for about four hours, Wheeles said.

Officers with Seymour Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Department assisted along with officials with Jackson County Emergency Management Agency.