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HAMMOND — A Merrillville man died late Sunday after he drove off an interstate ramp and struck a concrete pillar head-on, Indiana State Police said.

GW McNeil Jr., 39, was extricated from a 2004 Ford Taurus after the crash about 11:30 p.m. and pronounced dead at the scene on the ramp from westbound Interstate 80/94 to southbound Cline Avenue.

Alcohol may be a factor in the crash, police said.

The Ford ran off the ramp just before a curve, hitting a concrete barrier wall between the ramp and westbound lanes. The Ford traveled against the barrier wall, before its right side struck a blue informational sign.

The car came to rest after striking a concrete bridge support pillar head-on, police said.

Two passers-by and a Griffith police officer attempted to help the driver, but they could not remove him from the car because of extensive front-end damage.

Hammond firefighters extricated McNeil from the car, police said. 

He was pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m. from blunt force trauma, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

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Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.