Fundraiser helps family devastated by fatal I-65 crash
By Christin Nance Lazerus email@example.com August 18, 2013 7:54PM
Updated: September 20, 2013 6:31AM
Friends, aquaintances and even complete strangers are banding together to help the Williams family pay for funeral arrangements in the wake of a horrific Thursday night crash on Interstate 65 in Jasper County that claimed the lives of seven family members.
Merrillville resident Lindsey Williams, 27, was killed, alongside her daughters, 5-year-old Yazmin Goldman and Arielle Goldman, 3, aunt Yvette Williams of Atlanta, Yvette’s two children Jamin, 5, and Jasmin, 7, and uncle Amado Mangual, 49, of Merrillville, when a semi rear-ended their Jeep Cherokee and ignited a fire which engulfed the SUV.
A preliminary investigation showed that the Jeep was stopped behind a semi for work zone traffic at 9:52 p.m., when they were hit by a 2007 Volvo semi truck driven by Howard Stratton, 55, of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Family friend Jeff Julkes of Schererville established an online fundraiser on Friday and it’s generated more than $7,600 in donations through Sunday afternoon. On Facebook, Julkes said he is in the process of transferring the money to Gerald Williams, who is the brother of Yvette and Lindsey Williams.
Funeral arrangements and a memorial service are in the works, but have not been finalized, according to the family’s Facebook page.
The Indiana State Police are investigating the crash, using accident reconstruction of the scene and evidence and witness statements from the crash. Police also will try to determine if the Volvo truck was in operating condition.
The Jasper County Prosecutor’s Office will review information from the investigation once it is complete.