MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) – A massive highway pileup being blamed on whiteout conditions killed at least two people and injured scores of others Thursday afternoon in northwestern Indiana, police and a coroner said.
LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan confirmed the two deaths and said the toll could rise because cars were trapped under semitrailers and hadn’t been searched.
“It’s looking grim. There may be many more fatalities,” Sullivan told WLS-TV in Chicago. “The clock is working against us.”
Coroners from surrounding counties were asked to go to the scene.
Indiana State Police said Interstate 94 eastbound was closed. Cranes and wreckers were being brought in to help clear the scene, and school buses were being summoned to keep people stuck in the pileup warm.
Sullivan estimated that 15 to 20 people with lesser injuries had been taken to a LaPorte, Ind., hospital.
The accident occurred around 3:30 p.m. Thursday near Michigan City.
Photos of the scene showed at least a dozen tractor-trailers jammed together the width of the highway near an overpass. Some passenger vehicles cars were sandwiched in the wreckage.
Dixie Juchcinski told WMAQ-TV that the accident occurred during a snowstorm.
“When we first came to a stop, it was a complete white out,” Juchcinski said. “It was kind of a surprise to us because we could only see one or two cars in front of us.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Evan Bentley said heavy snow was reported in the area at the time of the crash. He said a band of lake effect snow moved in late in the afternoon, dropping 1 to 2 inches of snow an hour and reducing visibility to a quarter mile or less, with some reports of visibility near zero.
Update with 3 dead here:
7 thoughts on “At least 2 dead in pileup on I-94 in Indiana”
Mark was not involved in this wreck. Just talked to him on the phone. He said he got out of Indiana last night. What a nightmare at below zero.
The problem is there are many inexperienced drivers on the road both truckers and 4 wheelers, meaning inexperienced driving in these kinds of conditions. This weather scares the hell of of not only 4 wheelers but also us truck drivers. Sure we like to brag about driving like pros, but deep inside we are really just as scared as everybody else. Especially in these kinds of conditions.
Rubber doesn’t do well on ice, so people get killed. Our job is probably just as dangerous as any other out there, people don’t realize what we go through day in and day out. Sacred?, you bet, especially in this garbage. This is the worst conditions any truck driver has seen in years, not necessarily the snow, but the sub zero temps. Minus 75 degrees in some cases with wind. Yes, the trucks still roll, its a living.
Next load is from Northern Illinois to phoenix. Over to I-35 south to Oklahoma City over to Amarillo, west to Albuquerque, then south to Phoenix via Flagstaff. Piece of cake compared to what I’ve been through this last month.
I’m tired of seeing my compadres laying in the ditch, these are the people that gives us all the comforts of life. Stop the trucks and your life becomes hell on earth.
Glad you’re OK. 🙂 (I was worried)
Glad to see that you are okay! Keep safe, and glad to see you will be going south! Except here today I-10 and I-49 are closed and the basin bridge. The deep south cannot handle sleet, ice, etc.
Hey Mark stay safe out there.
Glad to hear you’re okay Mark. Stay safe. Stay warm.
Was an over the road Driver for 5.5 years, I had enough, seen enough, went thru enough, said screw it. Not worth it for me. Never had an accident, though I sure had some other drivers out there scare the crap out of me..people these semi trucks can kill an entire family or more, will you quit driving like a bunch of numb nuts out there?