Posted on Mar 28, 2013

FOWLER — A man was hospitalized after a semi crashed into an Indiana Department of Transportation vehicle this afternoon in Benton County.

According to the Indiana State Police, INDOT crews were patching holes in the southbound lanes of U.S. 41 near County Road 300 South around 1:55 p.m.. At the same time, 2007 Freightliner semi truck pulling a box trailer filled with food products that was traveling in the same lane.

The semi driver, Thomas L. Klitzing, 65, of Rosedale, told police he was looking at the windmills in the area, looked back at the road and saw the INDOT truck.

Klitzing swerved and attempted to brake when he struck the left side of the dump truck with the semi, causing the trailer to rip open releasing part of the load onto the ground. The semi came to rest in the median with cargo strewn over the road. Klitzing was not hurt.

The INDOT truck, driven by Fairley Creech, 62, of Oxford, was pushed down into the ditch. He complained of pain and was transported to St. Elizabeth Central Hospital for treatment. The INDOT truck was a total loss, and the semi sustained approximately $50,000 in damages.

Klitzing was cited for failure to yield to highway maintenance service vehicles and released.