[Photos from Indiana State Police]
A three-vehicle crash in northwest Indiana overnight claimed the life of a semi driver and sent a Valparaiso man to jail on drunk driving charges. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation revealed at about 2 am, a semi driver was on 911 calling in an alleged drunk driver on eastbound I-94 a couple miles west of the Indiana/Michigan state line. Troopers say the semi- driver activated his four-way emergency hazard lights as he was talking to 911. The station wagon was reportedly going on and off the road anywhere from 25 to 60 miles an hour, before stopping in the right lane, where the driver got out and started walking around. The semi stopped behind the suspect car, and the driver got out to talk to the driver of the Audi, and as the semi driver was climbing back into his semi, another semi struck his rig.
Police say 52-year-old Steven Lunn of Olympia Fields was pronounced dead at the scene of massive trauma, and the the suspect driver, identified by Indiana State Police as 47-year-old Howard Gutenstein, was not hurt and had an alleged blood alcohol content of point-13. He was jailed on charges of Operating While Intoxicated causing Death, a Class C Felony and Endangering, a Class A Misdemeanor. Police say the driver of the first semi, 37-year-old George Leeth Sr. of Hammond, was hospitalized with what police say were non-life-threatening injuries. Police say the first semi was hauling perishable food and the second semi, ethanol, but no load was lost from either.