Chesterton Tribune

Trucker badly injured in early morning I80 crash

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Trucker badly injured in early morning I80 crash

NOTE: A story on the front page of Wednesday’s edition of the Chesterton Tribune mistakenly identified the off-duty police officer who stopped a suspected drunk driver early Wednesday morning on I-80 in Lake County as an Indiana State Police trooper.

In fact that off-duty police officer is not a member of the ISP but reportedly a member of the Calumet City Police Department.

While the off-duty police officer was conducting a traffic stop on the suspected drunk driver, a trucker swerved to avoid hitting her squad car, parked behind the suspect vehicle but partially in the right lane. A second trucker then rear ended the first one.

That second trucker, Dennis C. Schulze, 50, of Beloit, Wis., was airlifted to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., with life-threatening injuries.

The name of the off-duty police officer has not been released.

The Tribune regrets the error.

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A trucker was seriously injured early this morning in an accident on I-80 in Lake County, the Indiana State Police said.

According to police, at 2:49 a.m. an off-duty police officer stopped a suspected drunk driver on the outer shoulder of the eastbound lanes of I-80 east of Cline Ave., parking her unmarked squad car—its emergency lights activated—“behind” the suspected drunk driver’s vehicle but “partially in the right lane.”

Meanwhile, Michael O. Amede, 53, of Country Club Hills, Ill., was eastbound in the right lane when he “almost hit the (parked) police car,” just before shifting left into the middle right lane, where his rig was then rear ended by a second trucker, police said.

The second trucker—identified as Dennis C. Schulze, 50, of Beloit, Wis.—was pinned inside his cab “for an extended period of time” before being extricated and airlifted to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., police said.

Schulze’s injuries were described as “life threatening,” police said.

All eastbound lanes were closed until approximately 7:15 a.m., when the inner shoulder and left lane were re-opened. As of 10:22 a.m., all eastbound lanes had been re-opened.

The suspected drunk driver, Ronald Blankenship, 21, of Gary, was transported to Lake County Jail on a charge of operating while intoxicated-refusal, police said.

 

 Posted 6/20/2012 revised 6/21/2012