Chesterton Tribune



Two critically hurt and West Bound Toll Road was closed here Sunday

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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.

According to 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 Hallsville, Mo.

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.

Allison and 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 noted.

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 said.

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.


Posted 9/27/2017




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