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Semi Driver Succumbs during Fiery Crash in Vigo County

Vigo County—Friday evening, September 14, at approximately 6:51, Indiana State Police and Vigo County emergency agencies responded to a fiery crash in eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 at the Darwin Road overpass (near three mile marker) involving two tractor-trailer units.  

Preliminary investigation revealed a 2007 Volvo tractor, pulling a box trailer with general freight, and driven by 67-year-old Oscar Martinez of Cypress, Texas, was slowing down as he perceived slower traffic ahead of him. Suddenly Martinez’s commercial vehicle was struck in the rear by a 2017 Freightliner tractor pulling a box trailer loaded with general freight. The violent impact caused the Freightliner tractor to erupt in flames ultimately resulting in the death of the driver. 

The deceased driver was not identifiable following the crash and the Vigo County Coroner’s Office will attempt to identify the male driver using DNA and/or dental records. This process could take a few weeks. Trooper believe they know the identity of the man and have been in contact with the victim’s company. The deceased and the company are believed to be from Ontario, Canada. 

Martinez sustained only minor complaints of pain and was taken to Terre Haute Regional Hospital. 

The heavy traffic was believed to be slowing for a general construction project near the seven mile marker and troopers were stationed in the paved crossover just east of the three mile marker (Darwin Road) to warn motorists of approaching speed reduction. 

Eastbound traffic was rerouted onto the Darwin Road exit, across Darwin Road, and back onto eastbound 70. All lanes were open at approximately 3:45a.m. Saturday morning. 

The crash was investigated by ISP Senior Trooper David Petrowski with assistance from ISP Crash Reconstructionists Senior Troopers Tim Rader and Ted Robertson, along with ISP Sergeant Chris Wright, Troopers Brad Fyfe and Courtland Woodruff, Vigo County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mike Anderson, West Terre Haute Police, Sugar Creek Fire/Rescue, Honey Creek Fire/Rescue, Otter Creek Fire/Rescue, Trans Care EMS, Vigo County Coroner’s Office, and Edington’s Wrecker Service. 

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at

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