An attempt at a good deed took a tragic turn on Monday, October 10, when three people — a mother, a daughter, and an elderly Good Samaritan — were killed on the side of the road by a dump truck. Jerri Janel Davis, 39, of Odon, Indiana, had been driving westbound on Indiana 58 and had attempted to pull her maroon 1993 Mercury minivan to the side of the road after running out of gas and stalling. Davis’ mother Paula Jane Young, 56, also from Odon, had pulled up in her own minivan, a green 1998 Oldsmobile, to help her, and local resident Lester Blair, 74, of Elnora, Indiana, was believed to have just arrived with a gas can in an effort to assist Davis.
Instead, a Mack dump truck hauling gravel to a nearby construction site struck both minivans and Davis, Young and Blair were killed. The truck rolled and spilled its load of gravel across the road. All three were pronounced dead at the scene by the Daviess County Coroner’s Office. Police reports say that Young was still inside her minivan when it was struck by the truck.
Jeffrey W. Wolford of Bloomington, Indiana, the driver of the truck, was transported to Daviess County Hospital. He was treated for his injuries and then released. The deadly accident occurred in Daviess County in southern Indiana, on State Road 58, close to County Road 700 East, near North Daviess High School, at 11:30 in the morning. The road was shut down for about six hours while police were investigating the accident.
The company that owned the truck was Young Trucking of Southern Indiana, Inc. Wolford was hauling gravel to the construction site on Interstate 69 nearby. The cause of the accident is currently unknown and the investigation is ongoing. Neither alcohol nor speed appears to be a factor in the accident. Authorities have said that Davis’ minivan was still partially in the roadway, as was Young’s, when they were struck by Wolford’s truck.
Investigators are asking any witnesses to come forward with more information to help them determine the cause of the accident.