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* Big delays are being reported to us along eastbound US 30 through Dyer and Schererville and Merrillville.
News release from Indiana State Police Lowell Post: Lake County-Indiana State Police Trooper Gary Runde responded to an early morning crash at approximately 2:49 am, this morning, June 20th, where a two semi crash shut down east bound I-80 traffic at Cline.
(Photo courtesy Indiana State Police)
Preliminary investigation revealed that an off-duty police officer in her unmarked police car was behind a possible impaired driver. The suspected impaired driver almost hit two semis and the concrete barrier wall. The police officer activated her emergency lights on her police car (the police car is fully equipped with police lights inside the vehicle) and stopped the vehicle. The suspected impaired driver pulled his vehicle off on the outer shoulder east bound I-80 just east of Cline Avenue. The police officer stopped behind but partially in the right lane.
A 2003 Mack semi-trash hauler, owned by Jehovah Transportation out of Country Club Hills, Illinois, driven by Michael O. Amede, 53 of Country Club Hills, Illinois, was east bound in the right lane when he almost hit the police car and changed lanes into the right middle lane (there are four lanes of traffic here); he was then hit in the rear by another semi.
A 2005 Volvo semi pulling a box trailer, driven by a 50 year-old man from Wisconsin, was east bound in the middle right lane when he hit the rear of the Mack trash hauler. The 50 year-old driver, was pinned inside his semi for an extended period of time. The University of Chicago Aeromedical Network (U-CAN) air ambulance landed on the interstate and assisted in trying to extricate the driver. The driver was extricated and flown to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn with life threatening injuries.
The trash hauler was loaded and was going to Monticello, Indiana coming from Riverdale, Illinois. Amede was not injured nor did he lose any of his load.
The Volvo semi was loaded with empty flower racks. No load was loss. Family has NOT been notified.
The suspected impaired driver, Ronald E Blankenship III, 21 of Gary was taken to Lake County Jail and charged with Operating While Intoxicated Refusal.
All lanes east bound were closed until approximately 7:15 am, when the inner shoulder and left lane where re-opened.
It is unknown at this time when the remaining lanes will re-open. There is extensive debris strewn across the interstate; including fluids from the semis and removal of the trucks to be removed and cleaned up.
(Photo from Indiana State Police)
Agencies assisting: Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Indiana Department of Transportation, Prompt Ambulance, Gary Fire Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Hammond Police Department and U-CAN.