(AP) — A man and two of his children died after he dropped his wife off
at an airport, their vehicle rear-ending a semitrailer on a backed-up
Interstate 65 in rural northwest Indiana, authorities said.
slammed into the semitrailer full of apples near Roselawn about 11:39
p.m. CDT Monday, state police Sgt. Tony Slocum said.
was at a standstill because a tanker carrying hazardous material had
rolled over a few miles south and spilled nitric acid. A 20-mile stretch
of the interstate, both north and southbound, was closed for hours as
hazardous materials crews worked to clean up the chemical leak and get
the tanker back upright, Slocum said.
The driver of
the car that crashed about 30 miles south of Gary was identified as
Mallik Chaganti, 45, a doctor from nearby Rensselaer. Slocum said
Chaganti failed to slow for the backed-up traffic and crashed into a
truck carrying more than 28,000 pounds of apples.
Coroner Andrew Boersma said the names of the two children weren't being
released because the mother was on a flight to India and hadn't been
notified yet. A third child in the car had injuries that weren't
life-threatening and he was taken to the hospital, police said.
brother, Mohan Chaganti, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the family had
just dropped the mother off at O'Hare International Airport so she could
visit her sick father.
weather is not believed to have been a factor in the crashes. There were
numerous reports of crashes and slide-offs early Tuesday further south
on I-65 in Clinton, Tippecanoe and White counties, state police said.
Slocum said the
cause of the first crash is under investigation. Police said the truck
went off the road into the median, jackknifed and overturned. It wasn't
immediately known how much nitric acid leaked. No injuries were reported
from the tanker crash, although the driver and a state police officer
were taken to a hospital to be checked for exposure to nitric acid
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says nitric acid is
corrosive and its vapor or mist form can irritate the eyes, nose, throat