Stranded motorist killed after being struck by semi on I-65

Indiana
I-65 crash scene

Photo of crash scene provided by Indiana State Police

SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WANE) A southbound semi struck a stranded motorist on I-65 in southern Indiana late Thursday night, killing him according to Indiana State Police.

Around 11:07 p.m. the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg (ISP) responded to a crash on I-65 southbound near the seven mile-marker just north of Louisville.  Responding units quickly shut down I-65 southbound at the nine mile-marker, and requested ISP crash reconstructionists and a commercial motor vehicle inspector to assist.   The interstate remained closed for approximately four hours. 

The preliminary investigation shows a Buick LeSabre, driven by Cody William Whitehead, 24, of Henryville, Indiana, was pulled over on the side of the interstate in the emergency lane with its hazard lights activated.  Investigators believe Whitehead’s car ran out of gas, and he was waiting in his vehicle after calling for assistance. 

Shortly after 11 p.m., a 2018 Freightliner semi-truck, driven by Matthew T. Zartman, 30, of Burnsville, North Carolina, crossed over the fog line for an unknown reason, striking the Buick and pushing it into the guardrail on the west side of I-65.  The Buick came to rest partially in the right-hand lane and was then struck by a 2013 Ford Transit and a 2007 Freightliner who were both unable to avoid the collision. 

Whitehead was pronounced dead at the scene by the Clark County Coroner’s Office.  Next of kin was notified by the coroner’s office and ISP.  No other drivers were injured.    

Alcohol and drugs are not suspected factors in this crash; however, blood results are pending. 

No citations or charges have yet been filed, but the investigation is on-going.    

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