A fatal crash Thursday afternoon on northbound Interstate 65 in southern Scott County occurred as a result of driver inattention and traffic backed up from an earlier crash nearly 15 miles away in Jackson County, police report.
Lloyd D. Huffman, 72, of Corsicana, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck, reported at about 4:48 p.m. Thursday at the 24-mile-marker, by an official with the Scott County Coroner’s Office.
The crash that killed Huffman occurred as he was stopped in traffic backed up for nearly 15 miles because of a wreck reported shortly after noon Thursday south of Uniontown, according to a news release from Sgt. Jerry Goodin with the Indiana State Police Sellersburg Post.
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Goodin, the post’s public information officer, said Huffman’s 2015 Lexus, which was stopped in the left lane of the interstate, was struck from behind by a 1999 Chevrolet pickup driven by Luis J. Perez, 38, of Austin.
Perez told police he had been driving northbound at about 70 mph when he took his eyes off of the road to light a cigarette, Goodin said.
Perez said he looked back at the roadway and saw Huffman’s Lexus stopped in front of him and tried to avoid the collision but was unable to do so.
The collision pushed the Lexus into a 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander driven by James Eaton, 57, of Normal, Illinois, that also was stopped in traffic, Goodin said.
Perez was transported to University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, while Eaton was not injured, Goodin said.
An Indiana State Police crash reconstructionist investigated the crash, and all involved were wearing seat belts, Goodin said. The investigation is ongoing.
Little information is available about the crash reported shortly after noon at the 39½-mile-marker south of Uniontown in Jackson County.
That wreck involved two semitrailers. The cab of one of the semitrailers caught fire and was destroyed.
One of the trailers was a flatbed and was not carrying anything. The other contained pallets of cardboard, which had to be offloaded and transferred to another trailer, according to a report from Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police Versailles Post.
No major injuries were reported in that wreck, but both northbound lanes of the interstate didn’t reopen until 7 p.m Thursday, police said.