Ind. (AP) — A couple from Michigan and a man from Chicago were killed in a
massive pileup on a snowy interstate in northwestern Indiana, authorities
said Friday, as the busy highway finally reopened a day after the
More than 20
people were injured in the crush of semitrailers and mangled passenger
vehicles Thursday afternoon on the eastbound stretch of Interstate 94
connecting Chicago with Detroit.
quickly changed from clear to near-whiteout at the time of the crash.
State police Lt. Jerry Williams said there was a sudden burst of heavy
lake-effect snow that took everyone by surprise.
"As these people
came into that whiteout condition, it became that environment where they
couldn't see each other," Williams said at a Friday news conference.
Thomas Wolma, 67,
and his 65-year-old wife Marilyn, were killed in the crash, LaPorte County
coroner John Sullivan said early Friday. The Wolmas, of Grand Rapids,
Mich., were returning home after taking care of a relative in Wisconsin
when they were caught up in the massive crash, Sullivan said, citing the
Jerry Dalrymple, 65, of Chicago, was killed in his car, along with his
Police Sgt. Ann Wojas said 20 to 30 people were injured. Henry Imboden,
79, of Merrillville, remained in the hospital in critical condition.
Another man who police initially said was critically injured was released
Friday from a Chicago-area hospital with a broken leg.
Two box trucks
and 18 semitrailers were among the 46 vehicles involved in the wreck near
Michigan City, about 60 miles from Chicago, Wojas said at the news
lanes of I-94 reopened about 10 a.m. Friday, Trooper Dave Andrews at the
state police post in Lowell said. Cranes and wreckers were brought in to
help remove the wrecked vehicles.
Drivers stuck in
the backup Thursday could only wait and try to stay warm as temperatures
hovered around 10 degrees.
37, had a family emergency and was traveling from western Michigan to
Tennessee with her three sons, ages 3, 9 and 10. She told The Associated
Press she'd researched road conditions before leaving because she was
worried about the weather. She didn't know about the accident until
traffic started crawling and then stopped.
Nearly five hours
later, long after she'd planned to stop for dinner, her car was still
sitting on the westbound side of the highway. A woman in the car next to
hers noticed she had children with her and offered cereal, popcorn and
fruit to tide them over.
17, of Chesterton, Ind., was riding in a car with three other teens and
saw the crash happen just behind them.
"One of the semis
started sliding and I think it jackknifed in the middle of the road" and
collided with another semi, he said. "After that happened, multiple semis
locked up. ... We were pretty nervous."
on I-94 Thursday. (State Police photo)