HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) — One person was killed early Sunday as a series of traffic crashes plagued the Borman Expressway (I-80/94) in Hammond, Indiana during the overnight hours Saturday into Sunday.
The first crash happened in the middle of a traffic jam that cropped up when state police had to close lanes because of an earlier crash where drunken driving was suspected.
At 2:03 a.m., Indiana State Police Trooper Dennis Griffin was sent to a single-vehicle crash on 80/94 on the eastbound lanes at the 2.2-mile marker.
A white 2019 Chevrolet Camaro had struck the impact attenuator along the side of the lanes, which resulted in two lanes being blocked.
Griffin concluded that the driver of the vehicle was drunk. The driver, Anthony Van Norris, 35, of Merrillville, refused to submit to a chemical test and was arrested, state police said.
He was taken to Methodist Southlake Hospitals in Merrillville by Trooper Benjamin Beers, and after a search warrant was obtained, he was given a blood test, police said. Norris was charged with misdemeanor operating while intoxicated refusal and was taken to the Lake County, Indiana Jail.
Around 2:48 a.m., a secondary crash happened in the backup on I-80/94 in the eastbound lanes at the 2.0-mile marker. This crash involved three vehicles – a semi-trailer truck and two passenger vehicles. One of the latter, a 1995 Lincoln, was engulfed in flames.
State Police said a 2013 Toyota Highlander driven by Shenay Neal, 44, of Crown Point, was heading along the far left lane at a high speed. The Toyota rear-ended the Lincoln, which spun to the left and burst into flames, state police said.
The Toyota also rear-ended a 2018 Utility semi-trailer being pulled by a 2018 International tractor, operated by TTS Logistics LLC of Mount Pleasant, Michigan and driven by Lance Forbus, 32, of Dallas.
The drivers of the Highlander and the truck were hospitalized for minor injuries, but the driver of the Lincoln died at the scene.
As state police investigated that crash, there was a third one at the 0.7-mile marker that involved seven vehicles. None of the drivers were injured, but there was a lane blockage and an additional backup, state police said.
There was also a fourth crash that happened at the 0.1-mile marker involving a semi-trailer truck and a passenger vehicle – which resulted in minor injuries and more lane blockages.