Tag Archives: Disaster/Accident

Gazette Receives Permission To Use Fedex Crash Pictures

29 Dec Joe Wzolek receives Highlands Award

by Ken Davidson

After what turned out to be an embarrassing error in judgment, the Gazette has received permission to publish photos of the truck that crashed into a Hessville home on December 13. The homeowners report that the crash occurred after a delivery was made at a school across the street. The driver stated that the gas pedal stuck and he lost control of the vehicle. A 12 year old resident of the home was on the couch in the living room of the home which was struck by the truck. She was injured and received treatment for a concussion. The driver of the truck had to be cut from the vehicle.

There is a soccer field at the school and the family questions why the driver could not veer in that direction, avoiding risk. The home is a total loss.

federal express truck crashes into house in hammond, indiana

Michigan Man Killed After Abandoning Vehicle, Walking Into Traffic on 80/94

28 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

Gazette Staff

Porter County-A Sawyer, Michigan man was hit and killed early this morning when he stepped in front of an oncoming car on I-94 and was killed.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Jacob Raupp revealed that at approximately 1:15 a.m., this Saturday, December 28, 2013, morning Bradley A. Miner, 36 of Sawyer, Michigan, parked his 1999 Jeep Wrangler on the shoulder of I-94 west bound at the 29 mile marker (this is just east of the I-94 west bound truck scales) for unknown reasons. Miner then left his vehicle with some of his personal belongings inside and stepped out in front of a 2005 Buick LaSabre, driven by a twenty-five (25) year old man from Gary that was traveling in the middle lane.

Miner was struck and pronounced dead at the scene by a deputy with the Porter County Coroner’s Office of massive blunt force trauma. The driver of the Buick was not injured.

The right, middle and entrance ramp to the scales where closed until approximately 4:00 a.m., for reconstruction of the crash, investigation of the circumstances, removal of the deceased and car.

Faulty Equipment Hampers Fire Department in Gary

27 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

The Gazette has received several reports of the Gary Fire Department and faulty equipment. Just a few days ago, there was a report of a fire truck breaking down on the way to a fire. Now we have obtained a video taken in September 2013, which purports to show the problems with equipment that Gary firefighters face on a daily basis.

We would love to hear your comments:

Indiana Conservation officer saves Christmas

22 Dec

Yesterday evening, shortly before 7:00 PM, EST, Josh Byrd, Pike County Highway Superintendent, was placing road barriers on flooded Pike County Road 900 East, when he heard calls for help coming from out in the flood waters. He then contacted Pike County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch. The call came at 6:52 PM. The Jefferson Township Fire Department, Pike County Deputies, and Indiana Conservation Officers responded to the scene.
Conservation Officers Jon Watkins and Shane Cooper had been responding to similar flood related calls throughout the afternoon and were equipped to address this type of emergency. Arriving at the scene, they were able to launch their patrol boat from the roadway and begin a search of the flooded corn field. Christmas was found around 9:30 PM, approximately 100 yards into the flood waters, clinging onto a bridge abutment. By the time of the rescue, he had been in the flood waters about three hours.
According to the victim, Christmas was on his way home from where he worked in Otwell and decided to attempt to ride his 4-wheeler through the flooded roadway. As the water became deeper near a bridge, he decided to turn around. His vehicle began to float and got caught in the current separating Christmas from his 4-wheeler. Christmas was carried some distance with the current until he was able to latch onto some vegetation and regain his footing. Due to the darkness he was unable to find high ground. Now barefoot, he returned to the bridge, the only high point he knew.
Michael D. Christmas, 30, of Velpen Indiana. was transported to Jasper Memorial by Pike County Ambulance where he was treated for hypothermia and released.

Stranded Bear helped by Conservation officers

22 Dec

Indiana Conservation Officers were kept busy over the weekend responding to a number of floodwater rescue calls. Even the unexpected – 500-pound black bear stranded in its cage in Shelby County. Late Sunday morning, Conservation Officers responded to a call asking them to check on the welfare of a black bear in the Fairland area that was left behind when its owner was forced to evacuate his home due to flooding in the area caused by heavy rains across central Indiana. Officers discovered the 500-pound black bear in about four feet of water but secured in its 10-foot by 12-foot enclosure. Due to safety concerns for the officers and the animal, it was determined that tranquilizing the animal was not a viable option.
However, officers were able to enter the enclosure and create an elevated platform for the bear to get above the water. While officers were on scene, it appeared the water level was receding.
State law allows a person to possess a black bear provided a permit is obtained from the Department of Natural Resources. The owner of this bear had the required permit and was following procedural requirements.

State Trooper Hit on I-65, No Injuries, Car Totalled

19 Dec ISP Vehicle crash

Gazette Staff

Lake County-An Indiana State Trooper’s police car was hit while the trooper was standing outside his police car covering an earlier crash.

Preliminary investigation by Master Trooper Taylor Bryant revealed that at approximately 4:35 a.m., this Thursday, December 19, 2013, morning, Trooper Brandon Henderson responded to a single vehicle crash on I-65 north bound at the 256 mile marker (this is one mile north of the 61st Avenue exit). That crash involved a 2002 Dodge Ram pick-up who had hit a “slick” spot in the left lane, causing the driver, Ryan P. Scheidt, 26 of Lake Village, to lose control, spin out and hit the guard rail on the outer shoulder head on. The Dodge Ram came to rest facing north straddling the guard rail. Henderson’s fully marked police car was parked behind the Ram pick-up with all of its emergency lights on and Henderson was outside of his 2012 Dodge Charger police car talking to Scheidt standing next to Scheidt’s driver’s window.

At approximately 4:45 a.m., a 1994 Toyota Camry, driven by Chris A. Bracamontes, 27 of Merrillville was north bound on I-65 in the center lane when he saw the crash up ahead. Bracamontes changed lanes to the left lane and lost control after hitting a “slick” spot. The Toyota spun out of control and hit Henderson’s Charger in the rear pushing it into the rear of Scheidt’s Ram pick-up.

Neither Henderson nor Scheidt were injured. Bracamontes was taken to Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Hobart with non-life threatening injuries. Bracamontes was cited for Driving While Suspended.

The 2012 Dodge Charger police car was totaled.

BREAKING: Fire at Midwest Steel

16 Dec

by Ken Davidson

All Hammond Fire Department personnel are currently deployed at a fire at Midwest Steel located on 165th Street just west of Indianapolis Boulevard.  The fire still rages as this is being written.  We will keep you posted as to any developments.  So far, no injuries have been reported and we pray that remains the case.  East Chicago Fire Department will be covering any other calls in Hammond.  EC FD will be escorted by Hammond PD.

This fire comes on the 22nd anniversary of the last line of duty firefighter death in Hammond.  On December 16, 1991, Hammond firefighters were called to the George C. Meyer Warehouse at 518 Hoffman Street.  Firefighter Fred Biedron, Jr. perished in the fire.  He was missing inside the wreckage of the building and his family waited as bulldozers plowed through the wreckage looking for him.  This has to weigh on the minds of firefighters as they work to battle this blaze tonight.

Click images for full size:

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fire at midwest steel in Hammond IN

fire at midwest steel in Hammond IN

steel plant fire in woodmar section of Hammond, IN

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Tanker with Hazardous Waste Crashes on I-65, Closes Road

14 Dec

Gazette Staff

Gary, Lake County-An early morning crash involving a semi placarded with Hazardous Material shut down a portion of I-65 north bound for almost twelve hours today, Saturday, December 14, 2013.

Preliminary investigation revealed at approximately 4:35 a.m., this morning, Trooper Brandon Henderson responded to a crash on I-65 north bound north of the I-80 west bound ramp. A 2013 Volvo semi pulling a tanker, owned by Transport Service Company out of Oak Brook, Illinois and driven by Dennis A. Rheiner, 61 of Jonesborough, Tennessee was north on I-65 in the right lane when a car cut him off so it could exit to the I-80 east bound ramp. This caused Rheiner to lose control of the semi on the snow covered road and it flipped onto its passenger side.

The semi was placarded for Hazardous Material Hexanes. Hexanes is a colorless, flammable liquid, derived from distillation of petroleum and used as a solvent. The semi was loaded with 6,935 gallons. A small leak was discovered after the crash.

Rheiner was not injured. Another semi/tanker was called from Transport Service Company out of Oak Brook, Illinois to come to the scene to off load the liquid.

All lanes were diverted off on I-65 north bound to the I-80 west bound exit ramp until 4:07 p.m. when the road was re-opened.

Assisting: Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Division Sergeant Wanda Clay, Indiana Department of Transportation Hoosier Helpers, Gary and Lake Station Fire and Haz Mat, Waffco Towing, and Service Environmental

Semi-Tanker on Way to Clean Up Crash is Hit by Car

14 Dec

Gazette Staff

Gary, Lake County-A tanker on his way to the scene of an earlier roll over semi containing hazardous material was hit as the driver stood outside his semi.

Preliminary investigation by Sergeant Wanda Clay revealed at approximately 10:46 a.m., this Saturday, December 14, 2013, morning, a 2005 International semi pulling an empty tanker, owned by Transport Service Company out of Oak Brook, Illinois, had arrived at I-65 north bound just south of the crash that had occurred earlier this morning involving hazardous material.

At approximately 435 a.m. another semi/tanker owned by Transport Service Company was involved in a roll-over where a small leak of the Hazardous Material Hexanes it was loaded with was discovered. All lanes north on I-65 were diverted off to go west bound on I-80. The second semi was called from Transport Service Company to come to the scene so the Haz Mat liquid could be off loaded into the second tanker.

The driver of the second tanker, Anthony C. Smith, 51 of Chicago, Illinois, had gotten out of his semi, a 2005 International, after activating his hazard emergency lights, to talk to Hoosier Helper that was blocking I-65 northbound from the above earlier crash. Smith had gotten in front of his semi and was identifying himself to Hoosier Helper so he could have access to the earlier crash site when a 2009 Ford mini-van, driven by Tyrone Lashaun Hardin, 35 of Gary who was in the left lane came around the curve portion of the road, began to slide and hit the rear of the empty tanker. Hardin who was wearing his seat belt was treated and released at the scene. Smith was not injured.

The tanker sustained minimal damage and was able to be used to off load the hazardous material from the earlier crash and all lanes were re-opened on I-65 north bound at 4:07 p.m.

Cline ave. EB closed due to accident

11 Dec

Lake County -All lanes east bound at Cline Ave are closed due to three semi’s and one passenger car property damage. One of the semi’s was carrying a pontoon boat which is now on the interstate. Traffic is being diverted off at Indianapolis Boulevard.
Police are asking the motoring traffic to avoid this area; west bound traffic is also backed up because of this crash. We are also experiencing numerous other crashes on I-65 and I-80/94 due to the weather conditions. None of these crashes are serious or involve personal injury.
Roadways within the Lowell District are snow covered, slick and hazardous. The roadways are passable, but motorists must slow down, increase their following distance, avoid sudden lane changes and ensure everyone is buckled up. Additional snow is expected throughout the morning and drivers should expect hazardous conditions.