HOWE, Ind. — Two tractor-trailers and a dump truck were involved in a construction zone crash Indiana’s Interstate 80/90 Toll Road on June 22, according to the Indiana State Police (ISP).
At about 5:30 p.m., Indiana state troopers were called to a multivehicle crash at the 120 mile marker, northwest of Howe, Indiana. When they arrived at the scene, they found three commercial vehicles — a white 2020 Peterbilt pulling a loaded car hauler, a gray 2014 Volvo tractor-trailer and a blue 2005 Kenworth dump truck — piled up, blocking both westbound lanes.
Two of the three drivers were injured in the crash. The driver of the Peterbilt, Robert Klimek, 69, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was trapped in the wreckage for an extended period of time. The Howe and Shipshewana fire departments, along with Grates Wrecker Service, worked together to separate the heavily damaged vehicles and extricate Klimek from the cab of his truck. He was flown from the scene by Samaritan helicopter to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana; the extent of his injuries is unknown.
The driver of the Volvo tractor, Mohammad Rahim Azami, 33, of Lakewood, Ohio, sustained minor injuries. He was transported by ambulance to Parkview Hospital in LaGrange, Indiana, where he was treated and later released. The driver of the dump truck, Jason Nine, 49, of Lakeville, Indiana, was not injured.
A preliminary investigation by ISP Senior Trooper Anthony Canul revealed that at the time of the crash both westbound lanes of travel were backed up and stopped because of road construction 2 miles ahead, at the 118 mile marker. Klimek, for reasons unknown, failed to recognize the stopped traffic ahead of him and crashed into the rear of Azami’s Volvo tractor-trailer, which was stopped for traffic. This impact caused the Volvo to crash into the rear of a dump truck, also stopped, driven by Nine.
The westbound lanes of I-80/90 were shut down for nearly four-and-a-half hours while crews worked to clear the vehicles and crash debris from the roadway.
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