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.


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.