By Scott Smith
Tribune staff writer
A semi driver was killed in a four-car crash in southern Miami County at approximately 11:40 a.m. Thursday, ISP Sgt. Tony Slocum said.
Indiana State Police said two other individuals were taken to the hospital after the wreck, which involved the semi driver plowing into a box truck and creating a chain reaction.
Investigators said two vehicles — a 2012 Honda CRV, driven by Tim Boggs, 35, Peru, and a 2002 Jeep Liberty, driven by Ellen Badillo, 38, Elkhart — were stopped at Ind. 218 just north of the Grissom Air Reserve Base entrance, in the southbound lanes of U.S. 31.
Police said the driver of the GMC box truck, James Williams, 44, Kokomo, which was also headed south, was slowing down to stop at the light.
The preliminary investigation by Master Trooper Ron Whitney revealed that Michael Natterstad, 53, Brownsburg, was driving a 2012 Freightliner semi-tractor was pulling a box trailer. Natterstad failed to slow down, and plowed into the rear of the box truck while traveling somewhere close to the speed limit, Trooper Ron Whitney said.
The impact pushed the box truck forward, but in a stroke of luck for the occupants of the Liberty and the CRV, the box truck went in between the two stopped vehicles, lessening the impact, Whitney said.
Badillo and a passenger in the Honda, Caron Boggs, 34, Peru, were taken to Dukes Memorial Hospital with complaints of pain, but none of the injuries were thought to be life-threatening. Williams and Tim Boggs were not injured.
Natterstad died before he could be taken to the hospital. He was trapped inside the cab of the big rig and had to be extricated by emergency crews.
Traffic on U.S. 31 was restricted after the crash for more than four hours as the crash site was cleaned up. Miami County Sheriff deputies were using flaggers to reroute all northbound and southbound traffic on U.S. 31 into the northbound lanes.
Everyone involved in the crash was properly restrained with seat belts. Whitney believes seat belts helped reduce the severity of injuries suffered in the crash, but the impact of the crash was too severe for the seat belt to save Natterstad.
Natterstad was hauling tools for Fastenal Trucking based in Indianapolis. Williams was transporting metal parts for TGR Incorporated in Kokomo. Williams’ freight did spill onto the road. Natterstad did not lose any of the freight he was hauling.
Master Trooper Whitney was assisted at the crash scene Master Trooper Bob Good, Senior Trooper Jerrod Patty, Trooper Ezariah Bricknell, Trooper Aaron Schaal, Dukes Hospital EMS, Grissom Fire Department, Pipe Creek Fire Department, Miami County EMA, Samaritan Helicopter, the Indiana Department of Emergency Management, and officers from the Miami County Sheriff’s Department.
Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at email@example.com.