Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Truck accident and fire blocks I65 for hours today

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An early morning crash involving three semis closed all lanes of I-65 northbound today when one of the semis caught fire.

Preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police indicates that at approximately 3:28 a.m., this morning a 2010 Peterbilt semi pulling an empty box trailer, owned by Werner Trucking out of Omaha, Nebraska, and driven by William Stephenson, 64 of Greenfield, Indiana was stopped in the right lane because of a crash near Ridge Road on I-65 northbound.

A 2014 Freightliner, owned by CRST Expedited out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, pulling a box trailer loaded with 26,000 pounds of clothing, driven by Jeansly Olcima, 24 of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was also in the right lane and was slowing down/stopping for the crash when it was hit in the rear by a third semi and pushed into Stephenson’s trailer.

The third semi was a 2013 Freightliner owned by C.R. England pulling a box trailer loaded with produce, driven by Regina Tardif, 38 of Jay, Maine. Tardif was in the right lane and failed to see the traffic slowing/stopping ahead. She was unable to stop and hit the rear of Olcima’s trailer pushing it into the rear of Stephenson’s trailer, State Police said.

Tardif had to be extricated out of her semi. She and her co-driver, Glenn Engler, 42 of Weston, Michigan, who was in the sleeper of the tractor, were taken to Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Hobart with non-life threatening injuries. Olcima and his co-driver, Pierre Calvaire, 44 of Miami, Florida, also in his sleeper, were also taken to Saint Mary’s with non-life threatening injuries.

Stephenson was not injured.

After Tardif was extricated the 2013 Freightliner caught fire igniting the clothing contents of Olcima’s trailer, police said.

Gary, Hobart and Lake Station Fire Departments responded to the scene to extinguish the fire.

All lanes northbound were closed and traffic was diverted off at US 30 and 61st Avenue until 7:30 a.m. when the two left lanes were open. All lanes were reopened at approximately 10:15 a.m.

While Tardif’s tractor was being towed away it caught fire again on I-65 southbound just south of US 30 and Merrillville Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire. The two right lanes were closed just south of US 30 for approximately 20 minutes for the fire to be put out.

 

Posted 12/31/2013