A single-vehicle crash at an interstate rest park has claimed a Medaryville man’s life. Nicholas James Vega, 26, was a passenger in a 2005 Honda Accord driven by 25-year-old Zachary Smith Vetter of Crown Point that entered the southbond I-65 rest park just north of the Demotte/Roselawn exit at a high rate of speed at 9:17 p.m. last night. Instead of taking the split to the right for passenger cars, Indiana State Police say Vetter’s car went straight and hit a large state highway sign sideways on the driver’s side. The impact sheared the 12-foot poles holding the sign off the ground.
The Accord then rolled down an embankment into a muddy, reed-filled ditch. Police say Vega was thrown from the car as it was rolling and came to rest under the rear tandem tires of a 2006 Freightliner, which was parked in the first slot of the semi/truck lot at the rest park. The sheared poles also hit the truck, the driver of which was asleep inside when the accident occurred.
Vega was pronounced dead at the scene of massive blunt force trauma. He was not wearing a seatbelt. A Jasper County Sheriff’s Deputy cut Vetter from his seatbelt. He was taken by ambulance to Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Ill. for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
A German Shepherd was also in the car and was not injured. Police say the dog kept watch over Vega until Jasper County Animal Control came to get him.