PERU — A chain reaction crash in Miami County on Monday afternoon claimed the life of a South Bend infant.
According to an Indiana State Police media release, police were dispatched to the area of U.S. 31 and Miami County Road 100 North shortly before 4 p.m. in reference to the crash.
Preliminary investigation into the incident revealed that a 2015 Chevrolet driven by Christine Wells, 75, of Rochester, was traveling northbound on U.S. 31 and was either stopped or slowing down for a red light, the release noted.
A 2013 Toyota Corolla, driven by Sarah Wallace, 32, of South Bend, was traveling behind Wells, the release added, and it was also stopped or slowing down for the same red light.
In the back seat of Wallace’s vehicle were her two children, Cecilia Wallace, 2, and Leo Wallace, 6 months, whom police say were both properly strapped into child safety seats.
Traveling behind Wallace’s vehicle was a 2016 Volvo semi-tractor pulling an empty enclosed semi-trailer, and police say the driver — Andrew King, 35, of Rochester — failed to stop for the red light, rear-ending Wallace’s car and forcing it into the back of Wells’.
The impact of that collision killed Leo, authorities noted, while Cecilia was flown from the crash scene via helicopter to Riley’s Hospital for Children in Indianapolis with life-threatening injuries.
The children’s mother was also airlifted from the crash scene and taken to a Fort Wayne hospital with serious injuries, the release stated.
Authorities stated that neither Wells nor King were injured in the incident.
This is an ongoing investigation, and police noted in the release that a report will be forwarded to the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office for review upon the conclusion of the investigation.