Snow wreaks havoc on region roads

2013-12-14T21:30:00Z 2013-12-15T00:21:04Z Snow wreaks havoc on region roadsTimes Staff
December 14, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

Snow was blamed Saturday for numerous accidents and slide-offs in the region, Indiana State Police said.

One of the crashes involved a semitrailer carrying hazardous materials. A semitanker on its way to clean up that spill also was hit.

The crashes shut down part of Interstate 65 for nearly 12 hours, Indiana State Police said.

Police responded to the first crash about 4:35 a.m. Saturday on northbound I-65, north of the Interstate 80 westbound ramp.

A 2013 Volvo semi pulling a tanker was driving north on I-65 in the right lane when a car cut him off so it could exit to the I-80 eastbound ramp. The semi driver lost control on the snow-covered road, and the truck flipped onto its passenger side, police said.

The semi was loaded with 6,935 gallons of hexanes, a colorless flammable liquid used as a solvent. A small leak was discovered after the crash, police said.

Traffic was diverted as the site was cleaned up.

At 10:46 a.m., an empty tanker on the way to the first crash was hit as the driver stood outside the semi. The tanker was going to be filled with the liquid from the first semi that rolled over.

The driver of the second tanker had gotten out of the 2005 International, after turning on his hazard emergency lights, to talk to a Hoosier Helper official whose vehicle was blocking I-65 northbound from the earlier crash.

The driver was in front of the semi and identifying himself to the Hoosier Helper official when a 2009 Ford minivan driven by a 35-year-old Gary man slide into the rear of the empty tanker.

No one was seriously injured, and the tanker sustained minimal damage, police said.

All northbound I-65 lanes were re-opened shortly after 4 p.m.

The weather also was to blame for a power outage that lasted a little more than an hour Saturday morning, leaving 1,800 customers in the dark in the Schererville and St. John area, NIPSCO Spokesman Rick Calinski said.

A downed wire affected some South Shore service Saturday, temporarily suspending train traffic between Michigan City and South Bend.

Light snow is in tonight's forecast for Lake and Porter counties, according to the National Weather Service.

The organization was predicting a 30 percent chance of light snow at night, with temperatures falling as low as 2 degrees. Wind chills could feel as low as 10 degrees below zero.

The snowfall Friday into Saturday reportedly dropped 5 or more inches in parts of the region.

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