Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


September 15, 2009

Victim’s Identity Revealed In Fatal Accident On I-74

The identity of a woman who was killed while walking in the middle of Interstate 74 was revealed Monday but the reason she was there remains a mystery.

According to Lt. Travis Maloney, the public information officer for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, the department received a 911 call at 10:32 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 reporting a pedestrian had been hit by a car on I-74 near the 123-mile maker. Maloney said Twyla R. Tanner, 23, of St. Paul was traveling west on I-74 preparing to exit, when the woman appeared in front of her.

“There really wasn’t much the driver could have done,” Maloney said. “She told us she basically hit her before she even saw her.”

The pedestrian was identified as Sarah B. Connelly, 30, of Indianapolis. Maloney said she was walking in the middle of the roadway at the time of the accident and sustained multiple injuries from the impact. The force threw Connelly several feet. Medical personnel from St. Paul and Shelby County worked on Connelly at the scene and Lifeline was called to transport the injured woman. However, she was pronounced dead at the scene by the Shelby County Coroner’s Office shortly after.

Maloney said it was unclear why Connelly was walking down the middle of the interstate in the dark.

“The only explanation we have was she was at a friend’s house in St. Paul, and she decided she wanted to leave. She apparently walked down the interstate,” Maloney said.

Connelly will undergo an autopsy, which will be conducted by the Marion County Coroner’s Office. A toxicology test will be done, Maloney said, but the results won’t be available for at least six weeks.

Tanner was shaken at the scene but was uninjured, he said. Her vehicle, a green Volkswagen Beetle sustained heavy damage to the front.

The westbound lane of the interstate was closed for approximately three hours while the Shelby County Fatal Accident Crash Team investigated, but no incident was reported due to the closure.

Assisting during the crash were the Shelbyville Fire Department, St. Paul Marshal’s Office and Volunteer Fire Department, Indiana State Police, the Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office and the Shelby County Coroner’s Office.

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