A Valparaiso man has been identified as the victim of a fatal traffic accident Monday on the Indiana Toll Road in St. Joseph County.
Richard McNamara III, 48 of Valparaiso, was driving a 2009 Chevrolet van involved in the crash.
Police said the two-vehicle crash occurred around 9:17 a.m. Monday in the eastbound lanes near the 71 mile marker.
Preliminary investigation by police showed McNamara’s white 2009 Chevrolet van collided with the rear of a teal and white 2005 Peterbilt semitrailer being driven by Jose Navar, 42, of Berkely, Illinois. Police said the investigation and witness accounts show Navar had been stopped on the right berm with his hazard lights flashing when he began to speed up to merge back into the right lane of eastbound traffic. Police said for an unknown reason McNamara’s Chevrolet did not change lanes or slow before crashing into the back of the semi-trailer.
Eastbound traffic was stopped about 25 minutes for reconstruction and cleanup from this crash. McNamara was pronounced deceased at the scene by the St. Joseph County coroner’s office.
The Indiana State Police were assisted by the South Bend Fire Department, Warren Township Fire Department and the St. Joseph County coroner’s office.