June 27, 2022

Trucker faces drug-related charge after deadly Indiana crash

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A truck driver from New York faces a drug-related charge after a six-vehicle crash on the Indiana Toll Road killed two people and injured five others, police said.

Chasen Thompson, 26, of Hamlin, New York, was arrested for possession of marijuana after the June 1 crash, Indiana State Police said.

He had failed to slow down before his semitrailer crashed into five passenger vehicles that had slowed for crews working on a bridge, police said.

Thompson, who was released on his own recognizance, faces a July 27 court hearing, according to court records that do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

State police said Thompson submitted to a blood draw, a routine protocol following fatal and serious crashes, and those results are pending.

Once police complete the crash investigation, their findings will be forwarded to St. Joseph County’s prosecutor to determine if additional charges are warranted.

The crash in the tollway’s eastbound lanes just west of South Bend killed Eric Klein, 45 of Anna, Ohio, who was driving a sport-utility vehicle that caught fire, police said.

The crash also killed Jacqueline Luczak, 82, of Cicero, Illinois, who was the front passenger in a car carrying three other people who were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Two other people were hospitalized following the crash.