CROWN POINT — State troopers revived a Crown Point woman who passed out in a car while caught in an hourslong traffic backup on southbound I-65.

On Wednesday morning Troopers Davonne Barlow, Rogelio Escutia and Dennis Griffin were directing traffic around a crash when a man in a 2001 Ford Explorer pulled onto the right shoulder and said his passenger, a 30-year-old Crown Point woman, was passed out and needed help.

The troopers found the woman unresponsive and realized she wasn't breathing.

They began CPR and applied an automated external defibrillator, which showed they should continue CPR. The woman was given other life-saving measures until Crown Point EMS arrived, police said.

The woman was taken to Franciscan Health hospital in Crown Point, where she was responsive and talking early Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Earlier Wednesday, two semi drivers were injured in a crash. 

Drivers David Handler, of Missouri, and Jason De Ford, of Wisconsin, were taken to Franciscan Health hospital in Crown Point with non-life-threatening injuries after both semis jackknifed about 4:30 a.m. on I-65, about three miles south of the U.S. 231 exit, officials said.

The crash began before dawn Wednesday, when Handler lost control of a 2016 Kenworth semi and box trailer owned by Conway Truck Load Inc. and jackknifed on the snow- and ice-covered road, police said.

The Kenworth jackknifed, traveled west and hit a guardrail on the right side of the road. The semi and trailer rolled onto their left sides and came to rest blocking the right and middle lanes, police said.

De Ford, who was driving a 2019 Peterbilt and box trailer owned by Time Transport Inc., was unable to slow down to avoid Handler's truck and crashed into the Kenworth's undercarriage and rear axle, police said.

The Peterbilt ran off the road and crashed into an outside guardrail, blocking all lanes of southbound I-65. 

A service dog was located at the crash scene and reunited with Handler at the hospital, Indiana State Police said.

Police said the Peterbilt was removed from the road, but removal of the Kenworth was expected to take more time.

The semi and trailer needed to be set upright, and diesel fuel spilled during the crash needed to be cleaned up.

While much of the wreckage had been cleared Wednesday evening, one southbound lane on I-65 remained closed, state police said.

Roads remained slushy and slick in some spots early Wednesday afternoon; however, sunshine and rising temps made for much clearer roads the rest of the day.

A low-level travel advisory for Jasper and LaPorte counties remained in effect Wednesday evening, according to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. The advisory means routine travel might be restricted because of hazardous conditions and drivers should use caution.

Several school districts were on a delayed start Wednesday.

The slick conditions Wednesday came after a winter storm Monday night into Tuesday glazed parts of Northwest Indiana with two-tenths to one-half of an inch of ice. The freezing rain was followed by strong winds Tuesday night.

NIPSCO reported 15,000 customers lost power during the ice storm, but power had been restored to nearly all customers by Wednesday morning.

By 4:30 p.m., there were only 13 residences without power. They were located throughout Gary, Merrillville, Hammond and LaPorte, according to NIPSCO's power outage tracking website.

Conditions are expected to improve throughout the week.

Rain is possible Thursday afternoon and temps will spike to a high of 45 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. 

Clear skies are expected Friday and Saturday. The next chance for snow will be Saturday night.


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