- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A Georgia man hopes an online petition will help persuade a northwestern Indiana prosecutor to file criminal charges against a trucker for a crash that killed seven of the man’s family members.

Gerald Williams said he started the petition soon after the one-year anniversary of the Aug. 15, 2013, crash when he realized the Jasper County prosecutor didn’t intend to file charges.

“That’s really absurd and not making any sense to me or my family,” he told The Times of Munster (https://bit.ly/1rFniIT ).

At about 10 p.m., a semitrailer slammed into an SUV driven by one of Williams’ daughters that was stopped in an Interstate 65 North construction zone near Roselawn, about 30 miles south of Gary, according to state police.

Thirty-five-year-old Yvette Williams of Atlanta, Georgia, and her 27-year-old sister, Lindsey Williams of Merrillville, were traveling to Merrillville with an uncle and the women’s four young children at the time of the crash.

Jasper County Prosecutor Christine Haskell has said the crash was tragic, but that her office determined criminal charges weren’t warranted against the driver from Michigan after reviewing the state police investigation. Haskell didn’t immediately return a phone message left at her office Wednesday by The Associated Press seeking comment.

The crash impact crushed the family’s SUV between two semis and caused it to catch fire. The others killed were 49-year-old Amado Mangual of Merrillville; and four children - 5-year-old Yazmin Goldman, 3-year-old Arielle Goldman, 5-year-old Jamin Osborne and 7-year-old Jasmin Osborne.

More than 1,700 people had signed the online petition through the website www.Care2.com as of Wednesday morning.

Gerald Williams said his goal is to reach 10,000 signatures, then travel to Rensselaer from his home in the Atlanta suburb of East Point to meet in person with Haskell.

“I need to know why (the driver) killed my children,” Williams said. “What he could have been doing at the time to kill them. I’m just floored.”


Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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