INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A woman waiting for help after getting a flat tire on the interstate was killed when a pickup truck crashed into her SUV.
Indiana State Police say the accident occurred around 5:30 a.m.
A woman was parked in the emergency pull-off lane with a flat tire near the ramp that leads to Ronald Reagan Parkway and the airport. She stayed in her SUV and called her family for help.
They were en route to help her, when a man driving a black pickup truck came off WB I-70 and struck her on the driver's side. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials identified the victim as Laura Moreno Bravo.
Indiana State Police say it’s not clear what caused the 69-year-old pickup driver to crash into the victim’s parked car, but story is important safety message for drivers everywhere.
"She had a flat tire and she pulled over. She was sitting inside her car. Her car was struck by a truck traveling at highway speeds and she was killed instantly," said Indiana State Police Sgt. John Perrine.
For years, Sgt. Perrine has preached highway safety, in some cases after state troopers have had their cars hit.
While Indiana law requires drivers to move over or slow down when they see emergency crews working on the interstate, the law does not apply to all drivers.
Still, state police say deadly crashes like the one that killed Moreno Bravo are always avoidable.
"It’s simply a courtesy thing. If you see someone broken down on the highway, you should treat them like an emergency vehicle. You should move over for them," said Perrine.
If drivers do have car trouble, Perrine says they need to understand their options. Sometimes it's best to stay inside the vehicle, like Moreno Bravo did.
You can also call 911 to get police to respond to the scene- potentially making it safer. Other times it's safest to pull over at the next exit.
There is no one solution to stay safe.
"The key to safety on the highway is you should never feel safe or comfortable," said Perrine.
The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. It’ll be up to prosecutors to decide if any criminal charges will be filed.
The crash caused backups and delays for hours; it was cleared around 9 a.m.
The driver of the truck was required to submit a test for intoxication. The results of that test are pending.