Three killed on U.S. 20

Three fatalities in two car accident on U.S. 20

Posted on Sept. 17, 2011 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Sept. 17, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.

Due to an editor’s error, this article originally stated the car in the crash was headed east on U.S. 20. The car was going west.

MIDDLEBURY — A crash on U.S. 20 left three people dead and two injured Friday night.

The victims were identified as Pamela A. Beemer, 46, of Elkhart; Maxine M. Sailor, 87, of Elkhart; and an 85-year-old Elkhart woman for whom police did not release a name. The three were passengers in a car driven by Ernest D. Sailor, 87, of Elkhart.

According to a press release from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, the car was headed west on U.S. 20 at about 8:30 p.m. when it clipped a semi trailer that was headed east, causing the car to go out of control near C.R. 31. The car was then hit on the passenger side by a eastbound pickup truck driven by Sheryl Weatherman, 44, of Ozark, Mo.

Jefferson Township Fire Department Capt. Bob Fair said one of the passengers was ejected from the car. That person and two other passengers were killed. Ernest Sailor and a fifth passenger in the car, Robert C. Burg, 52, of Elkhart, were taken to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment of pain and cuts.

Weatherman declined medical treatment, according to Fair. The driver of the semi, Darin L. Rucker, 39, of Willard, Mo., was not hurt.

Witnesses in three vehicles who had been following the car in the crash said that the car was headed west on U.S. 20 and driving closely to the center line. It hit the rear edge of a semi-truck carrying an oversize load headed east, they said, before crashing with the oversize load escort vehicle following behind the semi.

The Middlebury Fire Department assisted at the accident scene. The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the crash.

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