MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. - A semi driver died Wednesday in a rollover crash on eastbound I-94 near Michigan City, Indiana State Police said.
A semi tractor pulling a double trailer heading east on I-94 went off the road just after 6:05 a.m. near Johnson Road, east of U.S. 421.
The tractor wrapped around a bridge pillar, trapping the driver, state police said. Authorities said the driver was extricated from the tractor, but died of blunt force trauma before an air ambulance got to the scene. He was identified at 28-year-old Lester C. Fason, of Sauk Village, Ill.
Investigators are working to determine why the semi went off the road. They said Fason was wearing a seatbelt.
The trailers overturned, spilling food product and pint onto the road, the shoulder and into Trail Creek. Diesel fuel and oil from the tractor also spilled out.
Crews blocked several lanes, all lanes, at certain points, for cleanup. This caused a five-mile backup on eastbound I-94 for several hours. As of 11:50 a.m., the crash had not yet been cleared.
One lane of eastbound I-94 was open and one trailer had been up-righted. Crews still needed to off-load and up-right the second trailer and complete cleanup. A hazardous materials crew was on the scene.
State police said eastbound I-94 would not fully reopen until at least 3 or 4 p.m. Wednesday. Drivers should avoid the area and find alternate route.