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.
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
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.