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[ISP] UPDATE: Multi-Vehicle Crashes Closes I-94 East Bound
Start Date: 1/24/2014Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/24/2014
Entry Description

LaPorte County-Weather conditions on I-94 in LaPorte County specifically from Michigan City east to the Michigan State Line caused white out conditions, yesterday, January 23, 2014. Heavy to moderate snowfall had been falling, with the extreme cold and wind, visibility has been reduced throughout most of the day.

Preliminary investigation revealed that at approximately 2:21 p.m., yesterday, troopers responded to a multi-vehicle crash that occurred I-94 eastbound approximately three miles east of the Michigan City exit. Approximately forty-six vehicles were involved; eighteen semi-tractor trailers, two straight trucks and the rest were passenger/pick-up or sport utility vehicles. There were twenty one people injured and three deaths; of that twenty-one one had to be extricated from his vehicle at the scene and was airlifted to Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois with non-life threatening injuries. That person was Jeffrey Rennell, 48 of Ada, Michigan. A second person, Henry Imboden, 79 of Merrillville was taken to Franciscan Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City with serious injuries and later transferred to another hospital. The remaining injured was taken to three area hospitals, Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso, Franciscan Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City and Indiana University Health in LaPorte.

The deceased were Thomas Wolma, 67 and Marilyn Wolma, 65 (husband and wife) from Grand Rapids, Michigan and Jerry Dalrymple, 67 from Chicago, Illinois.

All lanes of traffic eastbound were closed and diverted off at State Road 49 in Chesterton until 10:07 a.m., Friday, January 24, 2014. The road was closed for reconstruction of the crash, removal of the injured, deceased and their vehicles. All traffic that was caught in the back-up behind this crash was turned around and exited off at State Road 49 in Chesterton, State Road 421 in Michigan City or the crossover approximately one mile west of the crash.

Buses were brought to the scene to transport some of the injured and used as a warming center for some of the drivers and passengers not injured. These people were brought to the Emergency Operation Center located in Michigan City to reunite them with their families, take them to local motels/hotels or provide transportation to the train station.

These efforts could not have been accomplished without the support of Mayor Meer of Michigan City, Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek and his department, Michigan State Police, LaPorte and Lake County Sheriff’s Departments, Griffith, Portage and Chesterton Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, Porter and LaPorte County Haz-Mat, Michigan City Transit, Michigan City, Coolspring Township, Westville, and Springfield Fire Departments. LaPorte County EMS, LaPorte County EMA, Red Cross, Waffco, Cloverleaf and Ace Towing, McDonalds, Bob Evans and Domino’s Pizza of Michigan City and Larry Fegaras Rodini’s Restaurant in Michigan City and to everyone else we may have missed or offered their services.

A crash of this nature involving multiple deaths, injuries and dozens of vehicles can take several weeks to a couple of months to complete. This is an ongoing investigation and there is no further information.

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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Law & Justice
  • Public Safety
  • Agency Name
    Police, Indiana State

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