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Police Motor Carrier Inspector Killed in Fiery Crash

Indianapolis Star via YellowBrix

September 27, 2010

PERSHING, Ind. – A Pershing, Ind., man, who was a motor carrier inspector for the Indiana State Police, died Sunday afternoon in a fiery two-car crash on Interstate 70 about 1 mile west of Indiana 1 in Wayne County.

The crash closed both lanes of I-70 for more than five hours Sunday.

Robert E. Pitcher, 64 of Pershing, was pronounced dead at the scene after he lost control of the vehicle he was driving, crossed the median and collided head-on into a semi-tractor trailer driven by Ricky L. Mills, 42 of Heidrick, Ky., according to Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Anthony Emery.

Emery said that Pitcher was traveling westbound on I-70 at about 1:35 p.m. Sunday when for unknown reasons he lost control of his vehicle, slammed into the guardrail on the north side of the road and careened across the two lanes of westbound traffic and then the median before entering the eastbound lane where he hit Mills’ semi.

Mills received extensive burns in the collision and was taken by helicopter to Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.

Pitcher, a 22-year veteran of the Indiana State Police Motor Carrier Division, was driving a pickup truck with a power brake tester, a piece of equipment used for testing brakes of commercial motor vehicles, in tow.

Mills was hauling eight vehicles on his trailer at the time of the crash. He was listed in serious condition at Wishard on Sunday night.

The westbound lane of I-70 reopened at around 7 p.m. while the east bound lane remained closed until later in the evening.

Emery said the state police continue to investigate the crash.

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