UPDATE: The names of the three people killed after an SUV hit a deer on the toll road in western St. Joseph County have been released.
The collision happened Sunday night when police say the SUV crossed the median and hit a pickup truck after striking the deer. The SUV’s driver, Mark Pelini, 31, of Canfield Ohio, and his passenger, Jillian Marian, 31, of Youngstown Ohio died. A passenger in the pickup, Jane Beecher, 57, of Harrisburg Pennsylvania, was also killed. Two others remain hospitalized.
ORIGINAL STORY: A crash on the Indiana Toll Road claimed three lives and injured two others.
It was around 7:55 p.m., on Sunday, Oct. 2, when Indiana State Police Dispatch began receiving calls of a serious crash on the Indiana Toll Road near mile marker 67 involving two vehicles that had eastbound lanes blocked.
The preliminary investigation indicates that a white SUV was traveling westbound when it struck a deer. The white SUV then crossed the center median and collided with a black Ford pickup truck that was traveling eastbound.
Both the driver and passenger of the white SUV were pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the black Ford pickup and backseat passenger were transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with serious injuries. The front seat passenger in the Ford died in the crash and was pronounced died at the scene.
The eastbound lanes remained closed for the crash investigation and removal of the vehicles. Eastbound traffic was being diverted at the LaPorte exit at mile marker 49.