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Broken Chain, The Cause Of Fatal Wreck

Last updated on Wednesday, January 13, 2010

(ORLEANS, IN) - Police officials have determined that a broken chain was the cause of the wreck in Orange County that left three people dead.

22-year-old Zachary Staggs of Bedford, 21-year-old Shannon Steele of Jasper and 41-year-old Michael Daugherty of Mitchell were killed when chains holding a metal coil on the back of a semi broke, allowing the coil to roll onto the highway.

The coil crashed into a northbound pickup truck, killing two people and then hit a small car, killing one person.

The driver of the tractor trailer, 33-year-old Israel Rankin of Paoli, was cited in the accident following an initial investigation into the wreck, but the citation has since been lifted.

Reports indicate that the weight load of the trailer were just above the weight capacity of the tie-downs used to secure the metal coil.

11-year-old Mackenzie Taylor, a passenger in Staggs' vehicle, was airlifted to a Louisville hospital to be treated for serious injuries.

The girl has since been listed in fair condition.

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