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A Virginia woman died Friday in a single-car accident on Interstate 65 south of Columbus.
Karita Bucumi, 40, of Richmond, Va., was sitting in the middle of the backseat of a passenger car between two young children about 12:12 p.m. Friday when the car went off the west side of the interstate about three miles north of the State Road 11 exit at Jonesville.
A tire on the car blew out, and the driver lost control of the vehicle, according to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. It rolled several times and hit a tree before spinning out into a field and landing upright.
Bucumi was thrown from the vehicle. Authorities believe she was not wearing a seat belt.
The driver, Jackson Ndikumana, 40, of Midlothian, Va., and two children, ages 1 and 5, sustained minor injuries. They were taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for evaluation.
The children were properly restrained in a booster seat and car seat, and Ndikumana likely was wearing a seat belt, according to the sheriff’s department. Deputies think the group was traveling to Kentucky to visit friends.
Both southbound lanes were shut for more than an hour. Traffic was restricted to one lane for an additional two hours before both lanes were opened.
A LifeLine helicopter was called to the scene but was not needed because Bucumi was pronounced dead. Firefighters from Columbus, Columbus Township and Jonesville and CRH medics assisted at the scene.
Accident reconstructionists from the sheriff’s department and Columbus Police Department are assisting Sheriff’s Sgt. Dean Johnson with the investigation.
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