“We’re seeing seatbelts on the drivers side, but we’re not seeing any seat belts from the passengers side,” Indiana State Trooper Brenda Tubbs said.
There were eight seatbelts for 24 people packed in the van that crashed on I-69 in Gibson County. Now, we learn a second person has died. Authorities say that victim was a pregnant woman, but her baby was able to survive.19-year-old Christela Georges was 24 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident. Her child is in serious condition. The other victim has been identified as 60-year-old Gena Mosie. The people on board that van were of Haitian descent.
Eyewitness News had the chance to look at the van involved in the fatal accident on I-69. It was towed to McGregor’s in Oakland City. We were there as Indiana State Police started its inspection.
This van was involved in a crash Thursday afternoon that left two dead.
All of the windows are shattered. The roof is nearly ripped off. Investigators say it’s all due to a blowout in the right rear tire.
“Obviously there is a tragic accident that occurred, there’s quite a considerably amount of damage to the vehicle itself,” Trooper Tubbs said.
They were on their way to work at the AmeriQual plant in Evansville. The 1994 Dodge van had 24 people on board. Police say it was only meant to hold 16.
“They’re used to just piling in, unlike the rules we don’t have here,” Steve Uppuncanp said.
State police say the original benches in the van had been removed and replaced with plywood bench. The passengers were facing each other as they traveled south on I-69. Police say there weren’t enough seatbelts and what seatbelts there were, had issues.
“They’re not installed as manufactured had installed them,” Trooper Tubbs said. “They’ve been post installation. They have been put in after the seats were put in there.”
Troopers say the front headlights didn’t work and the wooden bumper on the back of the van isn’t legal.
“If I was to climb on board this vehicle, I’d be a little concerned given the fact how the seat belts are installed and the benches the way they are,” Trooper Tubbs said.
Now, inspections will continue and the state’s findings will be handed to the Gibson County Prosecutor. As for the drivers future, that’s now in the hands of the court.