Collision Victim Succumbs to Injuries (Press Release)

by Public Information Officer, Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 01:00 (2221 days ago)

ABILENE, TX – The Abilene Police Department’s Traffic Division was notified of the death of Mr. Robert K. Keller. On the evening of January 9th, Mr. Keller, age 35 of Abilene, was the driver of a white Chevy van that collided into the trailer portion of an 18-wheeler on Interstate Highway 20, adjacent to the 2000 block of E. Overland Trail. On the evening of the collision, Mr. Keller was taken to Hendrick Medical Center (HMC) for treatment for his injuries. He died Friday, January 18th, at the hospital. Mr. Keller’s family was present at the time of his passing. Our local media partners covered this collision on that rainy, cool evening that forced the temporary diversion of westbound traffic until debris from the collision site was collected.

The facts of the preliminary investigation are as follows: On January 9, 2013, officers with the Patrol and Traffic Divisions responded to a major motor vehicle collision involving two vehicles, one vehicle being a trailer (empty gas tanker) pulled by an International 9200i truck tractor driven by Ion Mihale (male, age 55). The other vehicle being a Chevy van driven by Mr. Keller and occupied with a passenger identified as Jeremy L. Chabarria (male, age 18). The truck tractor was traveling westbound on E. Overland Trail and the van was traveling westbound on I-20. The truck tractor lost control and left the roadway and struck a construction sign and a street sign as it traveled to the right. The truck tractor veered back to the left crossing the on-ramp to I-20 and the westbound lanes of I-20, traveling into the path of the van. The van struck the truck trailer and all vehicles involved continued traveling into the highway median where the vehicles came to rest.

Mr. Mihale was the sole occupant of the truck tractor and he sustained injuries that were non-incapacitating. He was taken by ambulance to HMC. Mr. Keller and Mr. Chabarria both received incapacitating injuries and were also taken to HMC by ambulance. A blood sample from Mr. Mihale was seized and this investigation continues. Traffic investigators do not suspect alcohol to be a contributing factor.

No criminal charges have been filed pending further investigation. This investigation continues under case # 13-538.

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