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Toll Road reopens after truck crash, fire

A crane was brought remove burned-out wrecked truck cab after an accident Tuesday IndianToll Road. |  Michelle L. Quinn/For

A crane was brought in to remove the burned-out wrecked of a truck cab after an accident Tuesday on the Indiana Toll Road. | Michelle L. Quinn/For the Post-Tribune

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Updated: November 24, 2013 6:26AM



LAKE STATION — A man driving a tanker truck was injured Tuesday morning in a three-truck accident that closed the Indiana Toll Road for about three and a half hours in eastern Lake County, according to the Indiana State Police.

The accident occurred about 10:50 a.m. on the Toll Road near Mile Marker 21, just east of the I-80/94/Ripley Street exit, said Sgt. Jeff Dolson of the Indiana State Police post at the Toll Road.

The injured driver was Dan Donverse, 32, of Paw Paw, Mich. He was driving a 2009 Kenworth pulling a tanker carrying salt when exiting traffic slowed down, said Indiana State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas, who was at the scene.

Donervse, unable to slow down in time, struck the rear trailer of a 2010 Sterling semi pulling double trailers. That rig was driven by James E. Filbert, 61 of Boardman, Ohio.

Filbert’s trailers collided, causing Donverse to lose control and veer to the left, Wojas said. Debris thrown from Donverse’s truck hit and damaged a third truck also driving in the right lane. That semi pulling a box trailer was driven by Edward W. Bohnke, 52 of New Haven, Ind.

Donervse then hit the guard rail and concrete median barrier, which caused his cab to catch fire.

Two unknown passersby were able to pull Donervse from his cab. He was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Hobart with a broken arm, broken leg and cuts to his head and face.

Donverse’s tanker was owned by Rose Cartage Services out of Lansing, Ill. Though his cab was destroyed by fire and had to be lifted away from the scene by a crane, none of his load was lost, police said.

Filbert suffered minor injuries; he was treated at the scene. His semi is owned by ABF Freight Systems out of Waterbury, Conn.

Bohnke’s semi is owned by Reba Transport out of Berne, Ind. His truck was loaded with furniture, and none of his cargo was lost.

During the investigation and cleanup, westbound traffic was diverted off the Toll Road at Mile Marker 23, the Willow Creek Road exit, and was detoured onto I-94. Eastbound lanes also were blocked during the cleanup, with troopers helping motorists make U-turns as they approached the accident scene.

Both eastbound and westbound lanes re-opened about 2:30 p.m.



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