3 dead in multiple fatal car crashes | City & State | purdueexponent.org – Purdue Exponent

Clear to partly cloudy. Low 34F. Winds light and variable..
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 34F. Winds light and variable.
Updated: November 4, 2023 @ 11:32 pm

Three people have died in fatal car crashes in the Greater Lafayette area in the last week.
Indiana State Police responded to a crash on I-65 about 3:30 a.m. Sunday after dispatch received reports of a vehicle on fire, according to a probable cause affidavit filed last Thursday.
In the first crash, a silver SUV was found “fully engulfed in flames,” in the median of the highway near the 171 mile marker, the affidavit says. One passenger was found in the car, later identified as Luis Kerr, Jr. He was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene.
An officer was allegedly flagged down by a witness that said he saw the driver run away from the crash into a wooded area near the highway.
Officers found Max Lester Obando Vanegas of Indianapolis leaving the nearby woods about 7:50 a.m. Vanegas told police was giving Kerr a ride and recalled “feeling tired and spacing out,” the affidavit says.
Obando allegedly said he had consumed about six or seven beers earlier in the night. He failed a portable breath test, the affidavit says.
Obando faces four charges, including causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident, resulting in death to another person. He is not in the Tippecanoe County Jail as of Thursday afternoon.
Then on Tuesday, a Lafayette man died following a collision about 11:40 a.m. near the 4800 block of US Highway 52, according to a media release from the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office.
James Weldon, 76, had reportedly pulled over and walked to the passenger side of his Ford F-150 pickup truck. A northbound Jeep Grand Cherokee then reportedly hit the truck and forced it into a ditch, pinning Weldon underneath the truck, the release says.
“First responders were unable to resuscitate (Weldon) and he was pronounced dead on the scene,” according to the media release.
Weldon appears to have died from multiple injuries, according to a press release from the Tippecanoe County Coroner.
About 10 minutes after the initial crash, another vehicle reportedly crashed into a pickup truck that was pulled to the opposite side of the road to offer medical assistance. The driver of the second car was taken to the hospital, but did not have life-threatening injuries, the release says.
Later that day about 5:15 p.m., Lafayette police responded to a crash near the intersection of Sagamore Parkway and Schuyler Avenue.
The driver of a blue Subaru “left the roadway, struck a pole, went airborne and flew through the eastbound lanes,” LPD Lt. Justin Hartman wrote in an email.
Hartman said the driver may have suffered from a medical condition that caused the crash. The car reportedly struck six vehicles, one of which resulted in fatal injuries.
Knyoka Pruitt, 36, died after being transferred to IU Health Arnett, according to a media release from the coroner’s office. The cause of death has not yet been identified and an autopsy is set to be performed Friday, the release says.
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