I70 tragedy – ISP release

Indianapolis, IN – The Indiana State Police are investigating a head-on collision that claimed three lives this morning. The crash occurred on I-70 westbound near Holt Road at 4:07 a.m.. Just prior to the collision a Trooper located a Hyundai SUV stopped on the shoulder of I-70 facing the wrong direction. The trooper, with emergency lights activated, stopped to check on the vehicle and when he approached the car the driver started driving forward. The trooper was yelling and banging on the window of the Hyundai trying to get the driver to stop, however the Hyundai drove eastbound around his police car and into westbound lanes of I-70. The trooper got back into his car but before he could get in position to stop the wrong-way driver the Hyundai SUV struck a Hyundai Sonata head-on, approximately 1/2 mile from where the trooper first saw it.

When the trooper pulled up to the crash scene one vehicle was on fire, he was able to extinguish that fire with his fire extinguisher. With the assistance of an off-duty paramedic who stopped to help, the trooper immediately rendered first aid to the unresponsive occupants of both vehicles. The Indianapolis Fire Department and EMS quickly responded to assist, unfortunately despite life saving efforts from first responders the driver and passenger in the Hyundai Sonata as well as the driver of the Hyundai Tucson were pronounced deceased at the scene. There were no other vehicles or people involved in the crash.

The westbound lanes of I-70 were closed for approximately five hours while Indiana State Police Crash Reconstructionists investigated the crash. The Marion County Coroners office responded to the scene to recover the remains of the deceased. Preliminary investigation leads officers to believe alcohol or impairment could be a factor in this crash, blood test results are pending.

The driver of the Hyundai SUV, driving the wrong way, was identified as 28 year old Aaron Negash of Indianapolis. The driver of the Hyundai Sonata was identified as 34 year old Jepthah Lian of Indianapolis. The passenger in the Hyundai Sonata was identified, however due to delayed family notification out of state that adult’s identity is being withheld at this time.

This investigation is ongoing and there is no further information to release at this time.