Wrong-way driver on Interstate 69 leads to a multi-vehicle crash claiming two lives

DALEVILLE – The Indiana State Police Pendleton District is investigating a deadly crash that killed two people this morning on Interstate 69 near the 234-mile marker (Daleville exit).

Early this morning around 2:21 a.m.,  a report of a wrong-way driver came into the Madison County Central Dispatch Center. Madison County Dispatch relayed the information to officers in the area in an attempt to locate it.  At approximately 2:31 a.m., dispatch received a report of a head-on crash at the 234-mile marker of Interstate 69 in the southbound lanes. When first responders arrived, they found multiple damaged vehicles blocking the southbound lanes of Interstate 69.

A preliminary investigation determined a passenger vehicle was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of I-69. The wrong-way vehicle, a silver Kia Forte, collided with a white Chevrolet Malibu head-on.  After the initial collision between the vehicles, the engine of the Kia became dislodged and was stationary in the left lane of Interstate 69. A third vehicle, a silver Volkswagen, struck the engine in the roadway.  After the initial collision, the Kia struck a southbound semi-tractor-trailer and came to an uncontrolled rest.

The Indiana State Police Crash Reconstruction Team was on the scene for several hours to document evidence and investigate the crash.  Both the driver and passenger of the Chevrolet Malibu were pronounced deceased at the scene by Delaware County Coroner Gavin Greene. The driver and passenger of the Chevrolet Malibu were identified as Victoria Elaine Cox, 32, of Fort Wayne, and Evan Daniel Cox, 26, of Fort Wayne. The families of the deceased have been notified.

The driver of the Kia was identified as Walter Saucedo-Mendoza, 30, of Indianapolis. Mendoza was transported by ambulance to Indiana University Ball Memorial Hospital and later flown by air ambulance to an Indianapolis area hospital.  

The drivers of the Volkswagen and Semi tractor trailer did not sustain any injuries from this crash.

Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in this crash.

The southbound lanes of Interstate 69 were shut down for approximately four and a half hours for the investigation and removal of the involved vehicles.

The Indiana State Police were assisted in the investigation by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department, Daleville Police Department, Chesterfield Police Department, Salem Township Fire Department, Delaware County EMS, and Northwest Towing.