EAST CHICAGO — Coroners have identified the 27-year-old passenger who died in a wreck Friday morning on southbound Cline Avenue, East Chicago Fire Chief Anthony Serna said.
Clinton Miskel Jr., 27, of Harvey, Illinois, died from blunt force trauma, Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey said. Miskel was pronounced dead at 11:01 a.m. Friday, according to the report.
Crews responded to a call at 9:55 a.m. of a two-vehicle collision on Cline Avenue south of Chicago Avenue, Serna said.
A silver 2004 Ford Taurus traveling south on Cline Avenue slowed to a stop on the roadway after its hood lifted while traveling, according to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff's Department. A white 2015 Ford Transit F-250 work van traveling in the same direction on Cline Avenue rear ended the car, a patrol officer's preliminary review revealed.
"The initial investigation into this collision indicates both drivers may have violated traffic laws," Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez said in a news release.
The van sustained damage to its front end and the Ford Taurus had its rear end crushed and pushed inward.
Indiana Department of Transportation crews were near the southbound ramp from Chicago Avenue Friday morning diverting traffic from Cline Avenue onto the southbound Gary Road ramp, and then back onto Cline Avenue past the crash scene.
East Chicago Fire Department crew extricated two passengers of the silver Ford Taurus. Both were taken to Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary where the 27-year-old man, who was removed from the front passenger seat of the car, died from injuries sustained in the crash. The other passenger, 29-year-old Joseph Striblin of East Chicago, was taken to the hospital with a broken leg, according to the sheriff's department.
The driver of the Ford Taurus was alert and conscious when transported to St. Catherine Hospital, Serna said. The driver was later identified by the Lake County Sheriff's Department as 23-year-old Movel Thomas of East Chicago. He was taken to the hospital for treatment of a possible concussion and leg injury, according to the sheriff's department.
The driver of the white van was also alert and conscious at the accident scene, Serna said. The Lake County Sheriff's Department identified the driver as a 26-year-old from Willowbrook, Illinois. The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, the sheriff's department reported. There were no passengers in the van.
East Chicago police, the Lake County Sheriff's Department and Superior Ambulance Service assisted on the scene, Serna said.
Martinez said his department's Crash Investigation Unit will continue analyzing and collecting information relevant to the wreck.
Kale Wilk, Carley Lanich and Anna Ortiz contributed to this report.