Chesterton Tribune



Liberty firefighters battle semi fire and scofflaw motorists on Toll Road

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Motorists refusing to yield to emergency vehicles complicated the Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department’s response to a semi fire on the Indiana Toll Road late Monday.

According to a statement released by the LTVFD, at 9:30 p.m. a semi-tractor trailer westbound on the Toll Road struck a guardrail for unknown reasons near the 34 mile marker, then traveled an additional 50 feet before coming to a rest and bursting into flame.

The semi’s operator escaped without major injuries and managed to make his way to safety, LTVFD said, but responding fire units “suffered from traffic on the Toll Road not yielding” to emergency vehicles at the scene, with multiple motorists actually driving around the fire units and “compromising their safety while on the ground.”

With the semi on its side and both westbound lanes closed “for an extended period of time,” LTVFD ultimately requested the closure of the Toll Road’s eastbound lanes at the Chesterton plaza “to allow for emergency vehicles to approach the scene from the opposite lanes of travel,” as westbound traffic was “preventing fire units from responding in a timely manner,” LTVFD said.

Liberty firefighters with their engine succeeded in suppressing most of the semi fire and in the end disregarded an initial tanker plan response, LTVFD noted. Fire units remained on the scene for some time, conducting overhaul operations and assisting the Indiana State Police with lighting and debris control on the highway.

The trucker himself was checked by Porter EMS at the scene and later transported to a Michigan City hospital.

“Please keep our responders safe and do not follow or try to outrun emergency vehicles,” LTVFD said.



Posted 6/30/2020




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