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Indiana State Police-Lowell District 13-Lowell, IN
Monday June 29th, 2015 :: 05:54 p.m. EDT


I-65 Crash Kills One, Injures Two Update - Names Released

Jasper County:  A two vehicle crash on the ramp from I-65 to US 231 left one dead and two others badly injured.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Andrew Rasala revealed that at approximately 1:09 p.m.  a 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer traveling south on I- 65 when it exited at the 205 mile marker (Rensselaer/Remington exit) and ran the stop sign.  The Mitsubishi was struck by a 2006 Ford F350 Utility Truck, driven by Joseph J. Linback, 19 of Brook, IN, that was driving northbound on US 231.  The F350 truck was pulling a trailer loaded with two John Deere utility vehicles (gators). The pickup is owned by Castongia’s Incorporated. out of Rensselaer, IN.    

After hitting the Mitsubishi, the F350 spun and came to a stop, facing south, in the grassy area off the east shoulder of US 231.  In the process, both “gator” vehicles were thrown from the trailer.  One landed in the roadway, and the other in the grassy area off the east side of US 231.  The Mitsubishi also came to a stop in the grassy area east of US 231.  

 Linback was taken to Jasper County Hospital in Rensselaer with non-life threatening injuries.  The 43 year old driver of the Mitsubishi, and an 8 year old child (passenger), both from Illinois, were also taken to Jasper County Hospital.  The 43 year old was later airlifted to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Illinois.  The 8 year old child was airlifted to University of Chicago Pediatric Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.  Both have serious/critical injuries.  We believe that alcohol may be a factor in this crash regarding the 43 year old driver.  Toxicology results are pending. 

The front seat passenger of the Mitsubishi was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force trauma by the Jasper County Coroner.  Names of the driver, child, and deceased passenger are not being released pending notification of their family.  FAMILY NOTIFIED. 

Driver of the Mitsubishi: Benjamin Griffin, 43, New Lenox, IL

Backseat Passenger:  Savannah Griffin (daughter of Benjamin) 8, New Lenox, IL

(Deceased) Front Seat Passenger:  Michele Pavesich, 45, New Lenox, IL (Friend of Benjamin)

US 231 was closed for investigation/reconstruction of the crash and removal of occupants, vehicles and deceased. 

Assisting: Master Trooper Martin Benner, Master Trooper Aaron Trammel, Troopers Brandon Henderson and Paul Arnold, Jasper County Sheriff’s Department, Prompt Ambulance, and Cheever’s Towing

All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Indiana State Police-Lowell District 13-Lowell, IN
1550 East 181st Avenue
Lowell, IN 46356

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 219-696-6242

Eric Rot
[email protected]

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