On a cold, icy morning in February 2011, 37-year-old Greg L. Hills was driving along westbound Interstate 94 near Portage, Indiana, when he lost control of his 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier.
The Cavalier came to a stop in the roadway. At that same time, 44-year-old Daniel Van Dyke was also heading west on Interstate 94. Van Dyke hit his brakes in order to avoid colliding with Hills’ stopped Cavalier.
Celadon truck driver Ernest L. Johnson, 30, was driving behind Van Dyke.
Johnson was not able to stop. His truck struck both Hills’ and Van Dyke’s vehicles.
Van Dyke’s passenger, 47-year-old Richard A. Hannah, sustained severe internal injuries and died at the hospital. Van Dyke was also gravely injured and died the following day.
Hills sustained injuries to his head and sternum.
The families of the crash victims filed a lawsuit against Celadon. The victim’s widows were awarded $18.5 million.
As a result of the accident, Celadon has changed made a change to the company’s driving policy.
At the time of the crash, Celadon trained its employees to utilize their cruise control as much as possible to save money on fuel.
Now, the company trains its drivers to only use cruise control during normal driving conditions and not to use it during inclement weather.