Roads remain treacherous in Indiana


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Sep 18, 2023

Roads remain treacherous in Indiana

By Jermont Terry, Kris Habermehl December 23,

By Jermont Terry, Kris Habermehl

December 23, 2022 / 10:43 PM / CBS Chicago

BURNS HARBOR, Ind. (CBS) -- Northwest Indiana was hit especially hard by the winter storm and extreme cold Thursday and Friday – and parts remained under a blizzard warning Friday night.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, Indiana State Police have advised people to stay off certain highways, some of which remained blocked due to earlier crashes.

Separate crashes blocked portions of Interstate 94 and Interstate 65 in northwest Indiana through the day and into the night on Friday, as frigid temperatures and high winds led to dangerous driving conditions.

The eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 in northwest Indiana were blocked near Chesterton, after a semi tanker truck crashed and rolled over amid snowy and windy conditions, according to Indiana State Police.

Indiana State Police said a tanker truck rolled over shortly before noon in the eastbound lanes of I-94 west of the State Road 49, near Chesterton. All eastbound lanes were still blocked as late as 10 p.m., and would be for several more hours.

The tanker was carrying sodium hydroxide, a caustic chemical involved in the manufacturing of soap. The presence of the chemical prompted a hazardous materials response before the truck could be removed from the road.

The cause of the crash was unknown, but a coating of snow was visible on the interstate at the time, and CBS 2 Chief Meteorologist Albert Ramon reported wind gusts as strong as 60 mph were being reported Friday afternoon in nearby Gary, Indiana.

In addition, I-94 was closed for several hours in Michigan at the Niles exit, due to multiple crashes and the weather.

Meantime, around 10:15 a.m., a truck crash on I-65 near Lowell left all southbound lanes blocked for several hours, before yet another crash around 3 p.m., involving multiple vehicles and a semi, blocked all southbound lanes of I-65 in the same area. The obstruction remained for hours afterward.

Folks, it just doesn't stop! You sense our/my frustration.. I-65 SB 238 is closed for a multiple vehicle crash involving a semi. Traffic being diverted at SR 2 in Lowell. PLEASE stay off the interstates! @WBBM1059Traffic @WBBMNewsradio @WGNtraffic @MikePTraffic @TotalTrafficCHI

Drivers said their travel times nearly doubled, and they were trying their best to maneuver the holiday havoc.

"We're coming from Valpo, so we're on the expressway – had a lady in a ditch we tried to help get out. She ended up actually breaking her axle trying to get her out. There's a semi turned over on the other side of the expressway, 80, heading south," said William Asbell of Portage, Indiana. "So we're heading home now. We just stopped and got Subway. It's just terrible – ice everywhere, dangerous conditions."

Indiana State Police are dealing with so many accidents it's hard to track.

Jermont Terry joined the CBS 2 team in October 2019. He's born and raised on Chicago's South Side. He's happy to return home to report on his community after 18 years of uncovering stories across the country.

First published on December 23, 2022 / 12:31 PM

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