The crash occurred along U.S. 35, between Logansport and Royal Center, at around 6 p.m. on Dec. 21.
According to Pharos Tribune, police stated that a semi-tractor trailer driven by 58-year-old Jerry Williams, collided into a passenger car after the driver of the passenger car slowed down to avoid hitting an animal.
After the trailer collided with the car, the tractor then traveled into the opposite lane where it then collided with another vehicle driven by 17-year-old, Briana Ademi. Ademi’s vehicle was carrying five passengers.
Ademi’s vehicle then veered off the highway and two passengers were thrown from the vehicle.
The two passengers, identified as 17-year-old Anahi Garcia and 17-year-old Faith Dold, were pronounced dead at the scene by Police.
JUST IN: The visitation for the two teens who died in a car crash in Cass County has been set for this week. https://t.co/OvFZoxKuvA
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) December 24, 2018
Ademi and the other two passengers were taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital and treated for their injuries.
The passengers of the vehicle, which had slowed down to avoid hitting an animal, were also taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital and treated for their injuries.
Williams, the driver of the semi-tractor trailer was not injured.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Support from The Community
An outpouring of support for the families and friends of the deceased has echoed throughout the Cass County community.
A Facebook group called #prayfortl, which was created by Cass County Online for those impacted by the incident has received supportive comments from the community.
“Our hearts are heavy again today following news of an accident last night on US 35 in Cass County. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted,” a post from the community page read.
Our hearts are heavy again today following news of an accident last night on US 35 in Cass County. Our thoughts are with…
“So much sadness at this time of year… please pray for all families involved and hug your children a little tighter.
Anthony Michael Cozzello posted, “I love this community and this region and I know that together we can make it through anything … and I know there’s a truth that is bigger, and stronger, and more lasting than this life.”
Highway Fatalities in the State of Indiana
A report compiled by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (pdf), shows an increase in traffic fatalities in Indiana over the past seven years.
According to the report, 821 traffic fatalities occurred in 2015; an increase from 745 in 2014. The figures show an 18.47 percent increase from 2009 to 2015, mirroring an upward trend in total fatalities.
Furthermore, in 2015, young drivers (ages 15 to 20 years old) had the highest involvement in fatal collisions and the highest rate of drivers killed per 100,000 licensed drivers of any age group. The rate for young drivers was 3.4 per 100,000 compared to 3.2 for drivers’ ages 21 to 24 years and 2.8 for drivers’ ages 25 to 44 years.
The report adds that the highest number of young drivers in injury collisions occurred between 12 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. (41 percent).
Eleven of Indiana’s 92 counties accounted for 53 percent of all young drivers in injury collisions, including some of Indiana’s most populated urban counties (Marion, Allen, Lake, and Vanderburgh) and counties that serve as the locations of large universities (St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, Monroe, and Delaware).
The top two primary contributing factors in these collisions were “failure to yield right of way” (27 percent) and “following too closely” (20 percent), which accounted for more than 47 percent of all young drivers involved in injury collisions.
One hundred and seventeen young drivers were killed in collisions during 2015, a 28 percent increase from 2014, according to the report.