Two motorists were
critically injured on Sunday in a multi-vehicle accident which forced the
closure of the westbound lanes of the Indiana Toll Road just west of
Chesterton for some six hours, the Indiana State Police said.
police, at 6:15 p.m. trucker Rachel Allison, 60, of Westfield, Mass., was
westbound in the right lane of the Toll Road, two miles west of Ind. 49,
when for unknown reasons she rear-ended a second semi driven by Mustapha
Baghyay, 34, of San Antonio, Texas.
Police said that
Baghyay’s rig went left, swinging clockwise into a 2002 Pontiac Bonneville
in the left lane driven by Markus Taliaferro, 24 of Goshen, Ind.; and then
into another semi-tractor trailer, this one driven by Matthew Hodge, 40, of
As Baghyay’s rig
continued to slide and jackknife, the rear tandem was ripped off his
trailer, splitting it open and causing the trailer to lose half its load of
bananas, police said. It finally came to rest blocking all westbound lanes.
Taliaferro sustained critical injuries and were airlifted separately from
the scene by Lutheran Air Ambulance to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak
Lawn, Ill., police said. Baghyay and Hodge were not injured.
Allison was hauling
hummus, Hodge pork belly fat, and neither of those loads was lost, police
All eastbound and
westbound lanes of the Toll Road were closed during medivac operations, with
the eastbound lanes re-opened soon after. Westbound lanes remained closed
for hours, however, with motorists diverted onto Ind. 49. At 12:20 a.m.
Monday the left lane and outside shoulder were re-opened to traffic but not
until 5:30 a.m. were the regular westbound travel lanes re-opened, police
Responding to the
scene were the Liberty Township Fire Department, Chesterton Police, and
Porter County EMS
Allison was driving
for CTW Transport of Peabody, Mass.; Baghyay for New Prime Inc. of
Springfield, Mo.; and Hodge for C&A Transport of Waterloo, Iowa.