Allan Phillips heard about the multi-car crash on I-69 Tuesday morning. But it wasn't until hours later that he learned his 28-year-old son Ryan was one of two victims who died.

"The Anderson police chaplains came to my police department," said Phillips. "They came and said they needed to talk to me. They shut the door and told me my son had been involved in an accident and had been killed."


Phillips maintained his composure but it's clear the father and police officer is torn up inside.

"After 27 years being an officer I've done a lot of notifications. But it's not easy when it's your own. It was a very tough night."

Ryan's wife Ivy was in tears. Ivy is now a widow left to care for the couple's five-month-old baby girl and other children they were raising together.

"Ryan was everything to me, a great husband and a great father."

Alaysia Goettman had tried texting her husband Dustin Goettman all day but got no response. Dustin was driving the truck Ryan was in. The two men who work construction utility jobs were on their way south on I-69 from Anderson to a jobsite when their truck collided with two semis in the middle of the Interstate multi-car wreck.

"I went to work and I normally talk with Dustin at least a couple times a day," said Alaysia. "I tried texting him saying, 'you weren't involved in that multi-car wreck were you?' I called him twice and got no answer."

Hours later the official call came from the coroner.

"It's almost surreal," said Alaysia as she sat with the couple's three daughters.

"He was a wonderful father. He was my best friend."

The men worked for Jeff Lachat who owns CAT Communications, a utility construction company based in Anderson.

"They were both very hardworking men," said Lachat. "This company is small so we're like family, and we're going to do whatever we can financially to help these families in the immediate days after this tragedy."

Lachat has set up a memorial fund at First Merchants Bank to help Ryan and Dustin's families. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at any First Merchants Bank or mail a donation to:

First Merchants Bank
Attention Jack Kimmerling
100 East State Street
Pendleton, IN 46064