Highway Worker Airlifted After Being Struck On The Indiana Toll Road
LaPorte County- Earlier this afternoon, at approximately 12:55 p.m.(EST), Indiana State Police responded to a crash involving a roadway worker and semi on Interstate 80 (Toll Road) west bound at the 37.8 mile marker (this is approximately one mile west of the Michigan City exit) where the worker was air lifted for his injuries.
Preliminary investigation revealed that James B. Payton, 60 of Calumet City, Illinois, driver of a 2012 Mack semi pulling a box trailer was in the right lane. The roadway worker, Chad Fleager, 34 of Lowell, Indiana was outside of his vehicle, on the entrance ramp (truck parking lot) next to the right lane, conducting pre measurements for roadwork.
The Mack semi veered to the right, out of the right lane when Payton looked across the interstate at the truck parking lot located on the east bound side of the interstate. The Mack semi struck Fleager as he stood on the ramp.
The Memorial Med Flight Air Ambulance landed in the truck parking lot on the north side of the interstate then flew the worker, Fleager to Memorial Hospital, in South Bend, Indiana with massive blunt force trauma injuries. Fleager was pronounced deceased at the hospital two hours later. The family has been notified.
The 2012 Mack semi, owned by Pitt Ohio Express LLC out of Grove City, Ohio, was hauling paint. The load was coming from Toledo, Ohio headed to Forest Park, Illinois. There was no load lost from the semi.
The roadway worker, Chad Fleager, was a rental coordinator for RoadSafe Traffic Systems, out of Crown Point, Indiana.
The right lane west bound were closed for approximately three hour while attending to injured, helicopter landing, and reconstruction and crash investigation.
Agencies assisting: Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Porter County Ambulance, LaPorte County Fire/Ambulance Department, and Memorial Med Flight Air Ambulance, and Indiana Toll Road Concession Company Maintenance.