CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman and two children were killed when a wrong-way driver caused a four-car pileup Sunday night on the Indiana Toll Road.
Indiana State Police said, shortly before 7:30 p.m., witnesses reported a gray or black Toyota driving erratically in the eastbound lanes of the Toll Road near Granger.
A short time later, the Toyota turned around and began driving west in the eastbound lanes, crashing into a 2004 Chevy Tahoe about a mile east of Mishawaka, police said. The Tahoe rolled over into the center median and the engine caught fire.
The Toyota then collided with a semi trailer truck.
A silver 2012 Chevy Malibu that swerved to avoid the crash went through the center median, and came to a stop in the westbound passing lane, police said.
Witnesses and state troopers used fire extinguishers to put out the Tahoe’s engine fire.
Two passengers in the Tahoe, 42-year-old Denita Rice, and 1-year-old Bryson Rice, both of Ohio, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
Another passenger, 12-year-old Makayla Lanier, of Ohio, was taken to Memorial Hospital of South Bend, where she was pronounced dead. A 10-year-old girl in the Tahoe was taken to Memorial Hospital, and later flown to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, where she was being treated for serious injuries. The driver of the Tahoe, 46-year-old Octavius Rice, was taken to Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.
The driver of the Toyota, a 32-year-old man, was taken to Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. CBS Chicago is not identifying him, as he has not yet been charged with a crime.
The truck driver, a 30-year-old man, was not injured.
All lanes of the Toll Road were closed until shortly after 1 a.m. as police investigated.
Indiana State Police said they suspect alcohol was a factor in the crash.