Crash snarls Borman traffic
Post-Tribune staff report June 20, 2012 8:54AM
One eastbound lane is open (at right of traffic cones) as cleanup continues after an early morning crash in the eastbound lanes of the Borman Expressway near Cline Avenue in the area of Gary and Hammond, Ind. Wednesday June 20, 2012. The crash just down all eastbound lanes for much of the morning commute. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 20, 2012 9:33PM
Indiana State Police responded to a two semi crash at approximately 2:49 a.m. Wednesday that shut down eastbound Interstate 80/94 traffic at Cline Avenue.
According to the ISP, a preliminary investigation revealed an off-duty police officer in her unmarked police car was behind a possible impaired driver. The suspected impaired driver almost hit two semis and the concrete barrier wall. The officer activated her emergency lights and stopped the vehicle on the outer shoulder just east of Cline Avenue. The officer stopped behind but partially in the right lane.
A 2003 semi trash hauler, owned by Jehovah Transportation of Country Club Hills, Ill., driven by Michael O. Amede, 53, of Country Club Hills, was eastbound in the right lane when he almost hit the police car and changed lanes into the right middle lane which caused him to be hit in the rear by another semi. A 2005 Volvo semi pulling a box trailer, driven by Dennis C. Schulze, 50, of Beloit, Wis., was eastbound in the middle right lane when he hit the rear of the trash hauler. He was driving for High Point Trucking out of Saylorsburg, Penn.
The Volvo driver was pinned inside his semi for an extended period of time. The University of Chicago Aeromedical Network air ambulance landed on the interstate and assisted in trying to extricate the driver. He was then flown to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. with life-threatening injuries.
The trash hauler was loaded and was going to Monticello. Amede was not injured nor did he lose any of his load. The Volvo was loaded with empty flower racks. No load was lost.
Extensive debris was strewn across the interstate, including fluids from the semis and removal of the trucks to be removed and cleaned up.
The suspected impaired driver, Ronald E. Blankenship III, 21, of Gary, was taken to Lake County Jail and charged with Operating While Intoxicated Refusal.
As motorists sought detours, traffic snarled eastbound lanes of U.S. 30, the Skyway and Indiana Toll Road. Shortly after 11 a.m., all lanes were open.