( Burnt semi of Michigan truck driver. Photo provided by Indiana State Police)
A three semi crash that caused one semi to catch fire and seriously injure its driver, closed the westbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Rd for nearly three-in--a-half hours Tuesday.
A preliminary investigation says that at around 10:55a.m. a 2009 Kenworth pulling a tanker, driven by a Michigan man was in the right lane traveling westbound just east of the Lake Station interchange following a semi pulling double trailers driven by an Ohio man, when traffic slowed ahead.
The Michigan man was unable to slow his Kenworth in time and struck the rear of double trailer rig, causing the double trailers to crash into each other and causing the Michigan man to loose control. His Kenworth veered off to the left where it passed a third semi bulling a box trailer that was in the right lane. Debris from the Kenworth hit and damaged the the trailer of the third semi.
(Damaged double trailer semi. Photo provided by Indiana State Police)
The Kenworth than hit the guard rail and concrete median barrier which caused the Michigan man's semi cab to catch fire. Two Good Samaritans reportedly were able to pull the truck driver from his cab he was taken to a Hobart hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the double trailer sustained a minor injury and was treated and released at the scene.
Westbound traffic on the Indiana Toll road was forced to exit after the Portage toll plaza onto State Road 249, which caused a huge backup on the bypass as well as westbound I-90 before the Portage exit. The westbound lanes were reopened around 2:15p.m. as the time was needed to investigate the crash, clean-up and remove the burnt semi, damaged trailers and clean-up of the roadway.