Traffic on Interstate 74 slowed by two accidents

Traffic on Interstate 74 slowed by two accidents

ST. JOSEPH — Eastbound traffic was slowed on Interstate 74 for a few hours Tuesday following a pair of accidents.

According to a state police report, Timothy J. Ault, 56, of St. Paul, Ind., was driving a semitrailer east on Interstate 74 about 3 miles east of St. Joseph at 3:11 p.m. Tuesday when he slowed down because of the rain.

Ault told police he felt the rear axle of the tractor start sliding. The vehicle went into the median, jackknifed and came to a stop facing south. No injuries were reported.

Ault was ticketed for improper lane usage.

Then, at 4:40 p.m., Micheal L. Lewis, 59, of Rosharon, Texas, was driving a Freightliner and slowing down for stopped traffic from the first accident when his vehicle was hit by a Mack truck driven by Stephen E. Waite, 59, of Russiaville, Ind. Police said that Waite failed to reduce speed to avoid the crash and hit Lewis' vehicle in the rear.

Both Waite and Lewis were taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, which had no information on their conditions late Tuesday night.

Waite was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

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STM wrote on July 18, 2012 at 7:07 am

Semis and truckdrivers are a menace.  Too bad we can't rebuild our rail system and get about half of those Jackwagons off the highways (also lower cost, save fuel).  State troopers should spend less time chatting in the crossovers while watching the semis fly by, and more time pulling them over.

sharkins wrote on July 18, 2012 at 8:07 am

stm,  fyi almost all semi trucks are goverened and can only go so fast (like the speed limit or maybe a couple miles over the speed limit). my husband is a semi driver and takes the safety of all on the road very seriously.  it is unfortunate that there was an accident but thank goodness no one was seriously injured.  it is also too bad that you have had such negative experiences with semi drivers.

sharkins wrote on July 18, 2012 at 8:07 am

and maybe you were not reading the article very carefully but it said the semi driver slowed down due to the rain..... that sounds pretty responsible to me.

Sidney61877 wrote on July 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

STM needs to realize how important that semi-trucks are in his life.  The food on his table, the clothes on his back, the bed that he sleeps in, and the roof over his head ... all these things were on a semi-truck somewhere along the process. 

dd1961 wrote on July 18, 2012 at 9:07 am

I was on 74 Westbound and passed this around 3:30.  The rain came up very suddenly and hard.  It sounds like he did what he could.  The police were also very responsive and were racing to get West of the accident to slow oncoming vehicles so that things like the second accident would not happen. The line of cars got long very quickly, so hard to get enough police on the scene as fast as they needed it.  We all need to be careful and always watch.

sameeker wrote on July 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I hope the driver fights the ticket for improper lane usage. It sounds like he did not do it on purpose. Just another money grab from Illinois.