Three persons were seriously injured during Monday evening’s storm, when the
passenger car in which they were riding was caught beneath a semi’s trailer
and dragged more than 300 feet, in a crash at the intersection of U.S.
Highway 6 and North Calumet Ave., the Liberty Township Volunteer Fire
At the time a power outage had left the intersection without a functioning
The injuries were the only storm-related casualties reported to the
Chesterton Tribune this morning.
As of deadline, the names of the three were not available but the Porter
County Sheriff’s Police identified them as Northwest Indiana residents: the
driver, a middle-aged male; a teenaged male; and a teenaged female. No
information on their conditions was available, however.
LTVFD Deputy Chief Tom Shapen gave this account of the accident, based on
evidence at the scene: at 9:30 p.m. a passenger car was northbound on North
Calumet Ave., entered the intersection at high speed, and broadsided the
flatbed trailer of a semi westbound on U.S. 6. The semi’s momentum dragged
the car--its front two-thirds wedged beneath the trailer--350 feet from the
point of impact before coming to rest.
All three passengers of the car were trapped inside and had to be
“It was a very difficult and challenging extrication” given the
“catastrophic damage” to the car, and the Chesterton Fire Department,
assisting at the scene, “gave us a lot of help,” Shapen said. Also
instrumental was Joe’s Towing Inc. of Chesterton, which provided one heavy
wrecker to lift the trailer off the car and then a second to pull out the
car. “That was crucial to the evolution of the extrication.”
The backseat passenger was removed first, then the driver, and finally the
frontseat passenger, the female. Each in turn was airlifted to an unknown
hospital by helicopter.
Two of the choppers staged at The Courts, in landing zones prepared by the
South Haven Fire Department, Shapen said. The third chopper staged at Porter
“The injuries to all three were severe,” Shapen said. “Extremely traumatic
At the time of the crash, the storm had knocked out power to the area.
“There were no lights,” Shapen noted. “It was very dark. And the stop lights
The LTVFD remained busy for the rest of the night, Shapen added, responding
to reports of downed wires, fire alarms, and medical calls. There were no
Two of the weather-related calls the SHFD responded to, while the LTVFD was
still at the scene of the crash.