A semitrailer driver died early Friday after hitting the back of a trailer that had become detached from another semi on westbound Interstate 94 near Michigan City, police said.

David C. Sturgis, 53, of Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, was pronounced dead at the scene by the LaPorte County coroner from blunt force trauma, Indiana State Police said.

The crash occurred after a 37-year-old Heartland, Wisconsin, man driving a semi with two trailers entered westbound I-94 at the U.S. 20/U.S. 35 ramp about 2:50 a.m., police said.

One of the trailers became detached and came to rest on the outer shoulder with its left rear partially in the right lane of I-94.

The 37-year-old was able to pull his tractor safely off on the shoulder and was not involved in the crash.

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Sturgis was driving a 2007 Volvo with a box trailer in the right lane and struck the detached trailer. The impact caused the cab to detach from the tractor frame and the detached trailer to roll onto its left side, police said.

The detached trailer split open, spilling wood flooring and general freight across the interstate. The Volvo frame and trailer remained upright, and no load was lost.

Witnesses reported there were no emergency triangles put out behind the detached trailer, police said.

All westbound traffic was diverted off at the U.S. 20/U.S. 35 exit until about 5 a.m., when the left lane and inner shoulder were open. The right and middle lanes remained closed for investigation and cleanup, police said.

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