4 children killed when semi slams into car in I-70 work zone; drugs a factor, police say


A crash on Interstate 70 in Wayne County killed four children Thursday, July 10, 2020. (Indiana State Police)

WAYNE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — A semi crashed into a car that was slowed in a construction zone on Interstate 70, sparking a fire and killing four children – and police believe drugs were a factor.

Police and medics were called around 5 p.m. Thursday to I-70 outside Cambridge City on a report of a crash. Crews arrived and found a Chevrolet and a semi tractor-trailer off the eastbound lanes fully engulfed in flames.

According to an Indiana State Police report, a 2004 Kenworth semi pulling a loaded box trailer was eastbound in the driving lane when it came upon traffic that was slowed to merge left into the left passing lane for a construction zone. The semi “failed to slow down” and it struck the Chevrolet in its rear, pushing it into the left rear end of another semi.

The semi and Chevrolet continued into the berm of the left lane and both vehicles caught fire, state police said.

The driver of the car was pulled out by a passerby, but four children inside were killed. They were identified later as 15-year-old Anesa Noel Acosta, 13-year-old Quintin Michael McGowan, 8-year-old Brekkin Riley Bruce, and 6-year-old Trentin Beau Bruce.

The driver of the car – 34-year-old Aaron Bruce of Kansas City, Missouri – suffered severe injuries and was taken to an Indianapolis hospital.

The operator of the semi – 33-year-old Cory Withrow of Camden, Ohio – escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.

State police said a preliminary investigation found “drugs were a contributing factor in causing the crash and that criminal charges are forthcoming.” Withrow was booked into the Wayne County Jail on initial charges of driving while intoxicated and reckless homicide.

Interstate 70 was closed until 5 a.m. Friday.

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