Steuben County, Ind. (WANE) – Four children and their father are in the hospital after a minivan runs off the road and rolls on the Indiana Toll Road Thursday.
At approximately 2 p.m., troopers from the Indiana State Police Toll Road Post responded to a single-vehicle crash on the Indiana Toll Road near the westbound 135 mile marker.
Responding troopers report finding a minivan that had crashed with heavy damage in the center median. The driver and his four children, ages ranging from 2-9-years-old, had injuries varying from minor to severe.
Two of the children were flown from the scene to a Fort Wayne area hospital, the press release said. The father and two other children were transported by ambulance to the same hospital.
Master Trooper Tony Lomonaco’s preliminary investigation revealed that Luke Christopher Peterson, 43, of Cleveland, Ohio was driving westbound on the Toll Road at a high rate of speed prior to losing control, the press release said. The minivan ran off road into the center median and rolled several times prior to coming to rest.
Witnesses reported seeing the minivan recklessly driving at a high rate of speed, swerving in and out of traffic prior to the crash, the press release said. Witnesses stated that the minivan swerved to avoid rear-ending a semi before running off the road into the median.
Trooper Lomonaco said it is unknown if seat belts were used because the driver and all four children were out of the vehicle when he arrived. There were no child safety seats or booster seats found in the vehicle but airbags deployed.
Traffic on the Toll Road was temporarily shut down in both directions for nearly two hours while troopers and first responders managed the scene, the press release said.
Both excessive speed and alcohol are suspected as contributing factors. The crash remains an active and ongoing investigation, the press release said. Once a thorough investigation has been completed, a full report will be turned over to the Steuben County Prosecutor for review and determination of charges to be filed.
Master Trooper Lomonaco was assisted at the scene by Trooper(s) Brandon Johnson, Nick Anderson, and Kody Buell, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, Orland Police, Orland Fire and EMS, Parkview Samaritan, and Bill’s Towing Service.