Police identify 2 people killed in crash on I-74 in Montgomery County

Photo from Indiana State Police

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ind. — Two people were killed in a crash that closed part of I-74 in Montgomery County for several hours Monday afternoon.

According to Indiana State Police, the crash happened around 12:50 p.m. on I-74 eastbound near U.S. 231/exit 34. All eastbound lanes were closed until the interstate reopened around 4 p.m.

State police said the initial investigation showed a 1997 Ford Expedition was going westbound on I-74 crossing the U.S. 231 overpass when the SUV lost control, went through the median and slid sideways into the path of a Chevrolet EXP, which slammed into the driver’s side of the Expedition.

Two people inside the SUV–the driver, 25-year-old Colton J. Watkins of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and backseat passenger, 27-year-old Nathan Thomas King of Sumerville, Alabama–died. A third person in the SUV, 19-year-old Jarea Michelle Davis Thrower of Ohio, was taken to an Indianapolis-area hospital after being treated initially at a Crawfordsville facility. Police said it appeared no one inside the SUV was wearing a seat belt; investigators also said the SUV had been reported stolen out of Huntsville, Alabama.

The driver of the other vehicle, 57-year-old Rick Louis Bechman of Whiteland, was pinned inside and had to be extricated. Bechman was transported to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. He was wearing a seat belt, police said.

The investigation is ongoing.

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