Chesterton Tribune

Semi crashes kill one, snarl I-65 near Indianapolis, Northwest Indiana today

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THORNTOWN, Ind. (AP) ó Two crashes involving semitrailers left a trucker dead and snarled traffic approaching Indianapolis on Interstate 65 for several hours.

A southbound semiís cab caught fire after it ran into the back of another about 6 a.m. Thursday in an area where vehicles had slowed down because another semitrailer had flipped onto its side about a mile ahead.

Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell tells WRTV that the driver was trapped inside the cab and died from the crash near the I-65 exit for Thorntown about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Traffic backed up at times for more than 10 miles.

The northbound lanes of I-65 were also closed for several hours near Demotte in northwestern Indiana after a semi ran into one that was parked on the shoulder early Thursday.

In northwest Indiana, state police say I-65ís northbound lanes near Demotte were closed for more than six hours after a semi ran into one parked on the shoulder early Thursday.

Indiana State Police Trooper Brian Rubesha responded to the crash where preliminary investigation revealed that a 2011 Freightliner, owned by Covenant Transportation out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was northbound in the right lane when for unknown reasons the semi left the roadway and crossed over the outer shoulder fog line.

A second 1994 semi Freightliner, owned by Superior Transit and Fast Hauling Incorporated out of Saint Louis, Missouri, was parked abandoned on the outer shoulder at that location. The 1994 Freightliner had no hazard lights on or safety triangles out when it was hit by the 2011 Freightliner.

The 2011 Freightliner, driven by Steven C. Scholl, 39 of Chapin, South Carolina, after hitting the 1994 Freightliner went down into the sloped grass ditch into the dense trees and brush.

Fire then erupted and Scholl was able to exit just prior to it semi becoming fully engulfed.

Schollís semi was loaded with empty bottles.

Both the tractor and trailer sustained heavy damage.

Scholl was taken to Saint Anthonyís Hospital in Crown Point for third degree burns to his lower legs.

The 1994 Freightliner had major damage to the tractor and trailer after being sideswiped.


Posted 6/30/2011




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