A Richmond man has died after his Ford Focus was pinned under a semi trailer on Interstate 70 on Wednesday (Nov. 11).

The two-vehicle crash occurred on westbound I-70 near the 149 mile-marker on Richmond’s north side.

Emergency personnel were notified at 9:15 a.m. of a crash involving a semi tractor/trailer and a passenger car.

Wayne County sheriff’s deputies were first to arrive on scene, but at Sheriff Randy Retter’s request, Indiana State Police assumed the investigation.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2021 Peterbilt semi tractor, pulling a flatbed trailer, was westbound in the left lane of I-70. The semi, driven by Rodney P. Williams, 45, of Camden, New Jersey, stopped suddenly in the left lane on the back side of a hillcrest.

Immediately after the semi stopped, a 2013 Ford Focus, driven by James Dean Alcorn, 48, of Richmond struck the rear trailer of the semi, pinning the Ford under the trailer, according to a news release from ISP Public Information Officer Ryan Davis.

Witnesses stated that they flagged the semi down, driven by Williams after he had lost a portion of his load while traveling on I-70, which resulted in him stopping in the left lane.

Responding units determined that Alcorn had succumbed to his injuries. He was later formally pronounced deceased by the Wayne County coroner and his immediate relatives have been notified. Williams was not injured as a result of the crash, Davis said.

Both westbound lanes of I-70 were closed for more than four hours for investigation and cleanup.

Assisting at the scene were Indiana State Police Master Trooper Kyle West, Sergeant Bob Cross, Master Trooper Coley McCutcheon, Trooper Mark Hanna, Master MCI Kevin Bowsman, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, Richmond Fire and EMS, Pardo’s Towing & Recovery, Patton’s Towing, Indiana Department of Transportation, and Wayne County Coroner’s Office.

Per Indiana law, all drivers involved in serious injury or fatal crashes must submit to a toxicology test. The investigation is ongoing as autopsy and toxicology results are awaited.

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.