19-year-old Jace Roeder of Woods Cross, Utah lost his life as a result of a four vehicle collision yesterday. At ten to one Thursday afternoon, emergency agencies in the area of mile marker 59 on Interstate 70 responded to a multi-vehicle crash in the westbound lanes. An investigation led by ISP Master Trooper David Furnas revealed a KC Trans., Inc. tractor-trailer, driven by Kenneth B. Gieger Jr., 51, of Princeton, Indiana, failed to slow for traffic that was slowing for an Indiana Department of Transportation temporary work area in the vicinity. The tractor-trailer struck a white, 2012 Ford rental box truck in the rear, driven by Matthew Roeder, 39, of Peoria, Arizona. This impact forced Roeder’s box truck into the rear of a 2006 Bluebird school bus, driven by Wendell R. Clay, 52, of Richland, Missouri. The tractor-trailer continued to veer left impacting a white, 1998 Chevrolet van, driven by Mark G. Stewart, 51, of St. Louis, Missouri, ultimately forcing the van into the inner barrier cables. Hendricks County Coroner pronounced Jace Roeder, passenger in the rental box truck, deceased at the scene. The school bus was transporting 23 high school students and five adults returning to Missouri from a FFA Conference in Indianapolis. Geiger, Roeder, and seven students were transported to area hospitals for injuries believed to be non-life threatening. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the accident.
The crash investigation was assisted by various troopers from the Indianapolis and Putnamville Posts, Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement personnel, Hendricks County Coroner’s Office, Plainfield Fire/Rescue, Liberty Township Fire/Rescue, Brown Township Fire/Rescue, and the Indiana Department of Transportation.