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Semi driver dies after driving off I-94 near Michigan City

A semitrailer sits to the side of eastbound Interstate 94 near Michigan City on Wednesday after its driver became unresponsive. The driver may have suffered a medical condition before he died, police said.

A semi driver died after running off the road into a ditch Wednesday on eastbound Interstate 94 near Michigan City, the Porter County coroner said.

Howard Pruitt, 66, of Joliet, may have suffered a medical condition before the crash, Indiana State Police said.

Pruitt stopped at a weigh station on eastbound I-94 before running off the highway about five miles down the road, just west of the U.S. 421 exit, a coroner's release said.

The red 2012 Freightliner semitrailer went into the south ditch and stopped. No other vehicles were involved in the crash about 1 p.m., officials said.

Pruitt had no visible injuries, but was unresponsive, police said. State troopers immediately began first aid, and Porter EMS continued the efforts.

Pruitt died while he was being taken to Porter Regional Hospital, the release said. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday, and toxicology results were pending.

The truck remained upright during the crash and sustained minor damage, police said.


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.