Police say a 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Douglas R. Schroeder, 28, of Midlothian, came up an entrance ramp and instead of merging, drove straight across two lanes of traffic and hit a semi tractor-box trailer.
Police say the Monte Carlo went under the trailer near the front, causing the semi to lose control and jackknife. It then hit a concrete barrier. The semi driver was uninjured.
A Lake County sheriff's deputy says he found an intoxicated woman, Schroeder's passenger, lying in a pool of motor oil not far from the scene. A witness said Schroeder fled the scene.
Another witness reported seeing Schroeder attempt to carjack two cars at a nearby business on 179th Street after hopping a fence along I-80.
Schroeder was caught by Griffith police and brought back to the accident scene, where police say an object believed to be cocaine fell out of his pocket.
Schroeder suffered minor injuries and refused hospital treatment. His passenger was hospitalized for extreme intoxication.
The Hammond Police Department will be handling the carjacking charges. The Griffith Police Department will be handling the cocaine charges. Indiana State Police are charging Schroeder with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a property-damage crash, driving while on a suspended license and unsafe lane movement.
Schroeder was taken to Lake County Jail. Police say both the Monte Carlo and semi were total losses.
Three lanes of I-80 westbound were closed for about two hours during the investigation and cleanup.