Freezing drizzle turned many Northwest Indiana roads into ribbons of ice early Wednesday, causing numerous crashes and leaving a Whiting man with serious injuries.
Eric Anthony, 47, was pinned between a 2006 Ford van and a 2013 Ford Focus after a crash about 6:40 a.m. on the ramp from southbound Calumet Avenue to eastbound Interstate 80/94, Indiana Police said.
Anthony's van went off the road and hit a barrier wall, coming to rest on the outside shoulder. Anthony got out and was standing behind the van when Michael Daniel, 25, of Griffith, lost control of the Focus and hit the rear of the van.
Esmeralda Ruiz, 20, of Griffith, was driving a 2004 Jeep SUV when she also lost control and hit the Focus, police said.
Anthony was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary with a serious leg injury and later transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, police said. Daniel was taken to Community Hospital in Munster, and Ruiz was not injured.
The ramp was closed for several hours for investigation, cleanup and salting. Police said anyone who has been involved in a crash or whose vehicle has become disabled to remain in the car.
Roads may not have looked icy, but conditions were dangerous.
Jack-knifes, rollovers and slide-offs were reported along Interstate 65 — especially in the area of 61st Avenue to U.S. 30 and Crown Point to Jasper County. Delays on I-65 south of the DeMotte/Roselawn exit at Ind. 10 persisted until after noon, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation's TrafficWise website.
Cars could be seen off the road along interstates and on U.S. 30 in Scherervillle, where police responded to several crashes throughout the morning.
Multiple crashes were reported on U.S. 20 and Ind. 39 in LaPorte County, and the eastbound Exit 49 ramp from the Indiana Toll Road was temporarily blocked because of a crash.
Police in Illinois temporarily closed parts of several interstates Wednesday morning because of pileups. A 38-year-old Waukegan man was killed after he lost control of his pickup truck and hit a semitrailer on Interstate 294 in the Burr Ridge area, Illinois State Police said.
Jasper County was under a travel advisory, which means routine travel may be restricted in some areas because of hazardous conditions.
The Indiana Department of Transportation had a full call-out of crews using de-icers and salt, but roads remained slick, according to a Facebook post by the department's Northwest District.
Several schools announced delays and closures.
A winter weather advisory for Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties expired at noon Wednesday.
The freezing drizzle was expected to change to snow flurries late Wednesday morning in Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties, the weather service said. Freezing drizzle and snow could continue in LaPorte County as late as 2 p.m., with a chance of flurries between 2 and 3 p.m.
Wednesday's high temperatures were expected to remain at or near freezing.
Check back at nwi.com for updates to this story.