Hammond crash splits van in half, halts 80/94

December 5, 2012 (HAMMOND, Ind.)

At approximately 5:18 a.m., Indiana State Police responded to a crash eastbound I-80 just west of Cline Avenue. Police say a white 2004 Mack semi pulling a box trailer was disabled on the outer shoulder with its emergency triangles out behind it when a black 2000 Toyota Sienna mini-van that was in the far right lane drove off the road, through the triangles, and struck the back left corner of the trailer.

The 56-year-old driver of the Mack was not injured. The semi, owned by ZWW Trucking out of Palos Heights, Ill., was loaded with more than 60,000 pounds of cardboard and drums. No load was lost but the trailer had to be towed due to damage to its rear tandems.

The minivan was driven by Joaquin DeJesus, 37, of Maywood, Ill. He was taken to NorthLake Methodist Hospital in Gary with a laceration to his head and chest injuries. The minivan was split in two by the impact and was loaded with car parts that were strewn across three lanes of eastbound traffic.

A second semi, a 1998 Freightliner pulling a box trailer, that was traveling in the right middle lane hit some of the debris, causing some damage to the truck. The driver, from Miami, Fla., was uninjured.

All lanes of traffic except the left shoulder were closed for 40 minutes for clean up of the road. All lanes were reopened two hours after the crash.

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