FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - A third man has died from the I-69 Semi crash that killed a local racecar owner and driver earlier in July.
Tyrek Murphy, 25, was pronounced dead at Parkview Regional Medical Center Tuesday night. According to police reports, Murphy had been taken to the hospital with a severed leg below the knee in critical condition after the crash. Murphy is from Oklahoma City.
Two people were killed and at least two others critically injured after a semi traveling south side-swiped a disabled semi that was sitting on the right shoulder.
The crash happened about 1:20. A semi service crew was helping the driver of the disabled semi when the car carrier did not move over and took out the entire side of the semi.
Four people standing by the semi were hit. One of them was dragged under the car carrier and died at the scene. The other three were taken to the hospital in critical condition, possibly with some amputations.
According to an official release from Baer Field Speedway, the two who were killed in the crash are championship car owner Blaine Miller, 67, and his grandson, 2009 Front Wheel Drive Champion Jeff Shelmadine, 19. Miller and Shelmadine were working for Blaine Miller Road Service fixing a broken down semi.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with daughter and mother Pam and the entire Miller team and their families," Baer Field Speedway said in a release.
Miller was pronounced dead at the scene and the Allen County Coroner cites the cause as multiple blunt force trauma. Shelmadine was transported from the scene to Parkview Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead in the Emergency Department a short time after his arrival.
Friends and competitors fondly remembered Miller and Shelmadine Wednesday night at the race track.
"Blaine was the kind of guy that would give you anything," Baer Field Speedway promotor John Raney says. "He's really going to be missed here in the community. When you needed him, because he had a road service, you could call him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and he be right there to help fix a semi or whatever you needed to."
"He's a funny guy, and a good guy to be around with," former driver Bob Blount remembers Miller. "His grandson just started getting real good at racing and was winning a lot it's just a sad situation."
The driver of the car carrier was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. It is standard in this type of investigation to test his blood for any drugs or alcohol and detectives are questioning him about what might have caused him to be so distracted.
Southbound traffic was stopped at Union Chapel to enable emergency workers to access the accident site.
Shortly after 2 p.m. another crash on the northbound lanes of I-69 shut down that side of the highway as well.
Portions of I-69 were closed or restricted most of the afternoon. All lanes of I-69 were reopened just after 8 p.m.
The Allen County Coroner says Miller and Shelmadine mark the 16th an 17th traffic fatalities in Allen County in 2013.
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