Chesterton Tribune



9 hurt in 5-vehicle crash on I-94 here during rain

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Nine persons were injured late Monday in a five-vehicle chain-reaction accident on I-94 just east of Chesterton during Monday night’s heavy rains, the Indiana State Police is reporting.

According to police, at 11:37 p.m. the driver of a 200 Chevrolet Tahoe was eastbound in the left lane of I-94 when, one mile east of Chesterton, the Tahoe hydroplaned after hitting a section of roadway “completely covered in water” and crashed head-on into the median wall.

The Tahoe was then sideswiped in the rear by a 2013 Chrysler 200, which was struck in turn by a 2011 Honda Odyssey, which was hit by a 2013 Honda Pilot, police said. Meanwhile, a 2003 Toyota clipped in the melee left the roadway to the right and came to rest in a water-filled ditch off the outer shoulder and quickly became submerged, police said.

All four occupants of the Honda Pilot were transported to Porter Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said; while four occupants of the Chrysler 200 were transported to Franciscan Health Michigan City--including one person who was ejected onto the outer shoulder--similarly with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

A ninth person, the driver of the Honda Odyssey, was transported to Franciscan Health Michigan City with non-life threatening injuries after being extricated by Porter firefighters, police said.

“The heavy downpour at the time caused the inside shoulder, left lane, and partially the center lane to be covered in water,” police noted. “The interstate at this location was closed for approximately two hours for removal of the injured and vehicles and cleanup of the roadway.”

The Chesterton Fire Department along with four ambulances also responded to the scene, and CFD Chief John Jarka told the Chesterton Tribune this morning that things could have been much worse. “Everyone was very lucky,” he said. “The technology of the newer model vehicles saves lives. You see an Odyssey van with all its airbags deployed and everybody walks away. It’s pretty amazing.”

Jarka noted that the five-vehicle chain reaction crash was just the first of the evening. Approximately seven minutes after that one, at 11:42 p.m., a second accident involving three vehicles occurred in the westbound lanes about a mile east of the first scene. No one was injured in this crash, which was likewise precipitated when a vehicle hydroplaned on the flooded roadway, Jarka said.



Posted 5/15/2018




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