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Snow slides pontoon boat overboard on Borman

John Luptak Hammond IN shovels his driveway following snowfall Tuesday evening December 11 2013. | Jim Karczewski\For Sun-Times Media

John Luptak of Hammond, IN shovels his driveway following the snowfall on Tuesday evening on December 11, 2013. | Jim Karczewski\For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 14, 2014 12:01PM

Police responded to numerous crashes Wednesday morning after an overnight snowfall blanketed Northwest Indiana, with plunging temperatures on the way.

A wind chill advisory was issued by the National Weather Service for the region from 6 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Thursday, with temperatures dipping into the single digits and a wind chill making it seem like 10 to 15 degrees below zero.

One of the Wednesday morning crashes shut down traffic on the Borman Expressway when a pontoon boat landed on the highway.

Indiana State Police said a Hammond motorist driving too fast for conditions on the expressway lost control of 1993 Buick, causing a three semi-truck pileup that closed all eastbound traffic at Cline Avenue during morning rush hours.

Trooper Brian Henderson said Desiree Hampton, 22, was eastbound in the left lane when she lost control of her vehicle on the snow-covered and icy highway about 5:40 a.m.

The Buick spun out, went off the road, hit the concrete median barrier wall, then bounced back onto Interstate 80/94, coming to rest in the roadway.

A semi, loaded with five pontoon boats, owned by Premier Marine of Wyoming City, Minn., was eastbound in the center lane. Driver Michael Loren, 65, of Coon Rapids, Minn., saw the Buick in the road, hit his brakes, swerved to avoid the Buick and began to jackknife.

Another semi, pulling a box trailer and driven by Duria Love, 58 of South Bend, was eastbound in the center lane. Love braked, swerved left, hit the concrete barrier wall and was hit by Loren’s truck. His truck is owned by Standard Forwarding LLC, of Des Moines, Iowa,

Meanwhile, a third semi, driven by Larry Richwine, 52, of Portland, Ind., was also in the center lane when he too hit his brakes and was unable to avoid hitting the other two trucks. Richwine was pulling a box trailer loaded with anti-freeze, owned by GLM Transport out of Berne, Ind.

One of the pontoon boats on Loren’s trailer slipped off the trailer and landed on the eastbound lanes of I-80/94.

None of the motorists was injured and no load was lost, other than the boat, police said. All eastbound lanes were closed and traffic diverted off at Indianapolis Boulevard until 7:40 a.m.

Hampton was cited for speeding too fast for conditions.

Elsewhere in Lake County, a man using his pick-up truck to try and pull his wife’s car out of a ditch in the 10500 block of 117th Street was struck by a Lake County Highway Department snow plow at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

Spokeswoman Patti Van Til said no one was seriously injured in the crash. The driver of the snow plow was transported by a supervisor to Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point where he was treated and released.

The plow was westbound on 117th heading down an incline. The other vehicle was near the bottom of the incline, getting ready to pull his wife and her vehicle out of the ditch. The couple lives in the 10500 block of 117th and the woman entered the ditch as she was leaving her home.

Van Til said the man was pulling out when his front end struck the plow of the county truck. The snowplow received minimal damage. There was significant damage to the front end of the pick-up truck.

Post-Tribune correspondent Carrie Napoleon contributed to this story.

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