RENSSELAER, Ind. (STMW) — All lanes of northbound I-65 in northwest Indiana reopened late Tuesday morning after a chain-reaction crash involving two semi trucks and a large pickup hauling three other vehicles left an Ohio man dead.
Indiana State Police said the accident occurred about 6:20 a.m. on icy northbound I-65 about 5½ miles south of the Rensselaer exit, where traffic was stopped because of an earlier crash.
A 2007 Volvo semi pulling a rail container was stopped in the right lane with a 2003 Kenworth semi pulling an empty trailer stopped behind it when a 2008 Dodge dually pickup pulling a trailer loaded with three vehicles failed to slow down and struck the Kenworth from behind, a statement from ISP said.
The Dodge, owned by Cinci Motor of Maineville, Ohio, was driven by Zaza Eristavi, 41, of Fairfield, Ohio, when it hit the back of the empty trailer, causing the straps securing the cars to the trailer to break, ISP said.
The three vehicles on top “were catapulted off the trailer,” with one landing on the trailer and cab of the empty semi; a second vehicle landing on its roof in the grass; and the third landing in the left lane, ISP said.
The trailer being pulled by the Dodge was pushed forward, crushing the pickup between it and the trailer ahead. Eristavi was pronounced dead, according to ISP. The Jasper County Coroner said massive blunt force trauma appeared to be the cause.
The drivers of the other trucks—Mouhamadou Soumare, 51 of Indianapolis; and
James Kirkland, 58 of Toone, Tenn.—were not injured.
All lanes reopend shortly after 11 a.m., but drivers can expect “lengthy delays,” according to ISP.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)