Dale fatality victim identified; fund established

Photo from GoFundMe
A fund has been established to help with Melanie Rothery's final expenses as well as to help with her service dog, Chika.

From Local Sources

DALE — Authorities have identified the woman killed Thursday evening on U.S. 231 north of Dale when she pulled into the path of a semi tractor-trailer.

Melanie M. Rothery, 41, Oregon City, Ore., died at the scene of the 7:18 p.m. CST accident, according to the Spencer County Coroner’s Office.

One of Rothery’s relatives who says the fatal accident was the latest recent tragedy for the family is seeking help bringing the family together.

Indiana State Police said Rothery had stopped her 1994 Subaru Legacy along the southbound shoulder of U.S. 231 just north of Spencer County Road 2050N. She attempted to pull back into traffic, cross the southbound lanes of U.S. 231 and travel east on the county road.

At the same time, police said, David Wolfkiel, 66, of Owensboro was driving southbound in a 2006 Peterbilt semi.

Wolfkiel attempted to change from the driving lane to the passing lane in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the crash, according to police. The Peterbilt struck the Subaru at a right angle and pushed it into the median.

Wolfkiel complained of leg pain and was treated at the scene. He was not transported by ambulance.

Family members say Rothery and her sister, Paula Rothery, 42, had left Oregon a couple of weeks ago to make a fresh start in Kentucky with mutual friends.

Their aunt, Marla Wosnak, said Melanie had undergone a heart transplant in August 2013.

Now Paula Rothery and Melanie’s service dog and companion, Chika, are stranded in Radcliff, Ky. and desperately want to get back home to Oregon, where their mother lives, according to Wosnak.

Melanie and Paula Rothery’s younger brother died in December, Wosnak said, and their mother “needs to have her only remaining living child back home with her.”

Wosnak said the family is “devastated and numb.”

To assist, Wosnak has set up a GoFundMe page at http://www.gofundme.com/ncfu6o

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