(La Porte County, IN) - A man was severely hurt in a Sunday night collision with a semi-truck near Westville.
Coolspring Township Assistant Fire Chief Warren Smith said it all started when the rear axles of a semi-trailer hauling magazines caught fire on the Indiana Toll Road. Smith said traffic was being directed around the fire from the Indiana Toll Road onto U.S 421 when the crash happened about 9 p.m.
A semi-truck driver detoured onto U.S. 421 was attempting a U-turn to get back on the Toll Road when the back end of his trailer was struck by an older model Chevy Suburban.
“He must not have seen it. He was trapped. It basically took off the whole front end of his car,” Smith said.
The driver of the passenger vehicle was airlifted to an outside hospital. He said it appears the driver suffered some broken bones but nothing that seemed to be life-threatening. Firefighters from Westville were first to arrive and pretty much had the fire extinguished without much damage to the cargo before Coolspring Township firefighters began arriving.
La Porte County Police revealed the injured driver was 40-year old Kenneth O'Brien of La Crosse. Police also confirmed he sustained what appeared to be non-life-threatening fractures along with scrapes. The truck driver from Virginia was making a U-turn in a no-passing zone.