Trucker injured in US 20 crash

May 15, 2019 GMT

La PORTE – A four-vehicle crash on U.S. 20 early Tuesday made a mess of the morning commute just north of La Porte and left a trucker hospitalized.

About 5:20 a.m., La Porte County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the intersection of U.S. 20 and Fail Road for the crash, which involved two semi trucks and two passenger vehicles, according to Capt. Derek Allen.

“The crash investigation revealed three vehicles were stopped in the westbound lanes of U.S. 20 waiting for the traffic control device,” Allen said. “A 2019 yellow Peterbilt tractor, being driven by Melvin Smith Jr., 33, of Oak Park, Illinois, was also traveling west on U.S. 20.”


Smith told police “he observed the vehicles stopped, but was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision,” Allen said.

Smith was taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries.

The passenger side of Smith’s tractor struck the trailer being pulled by the other semi, Allen said. The two passenger vehicles were damaged by the initial impact of the two semis colliding.

All lanes of U.S. 20 and Fail Road were closed to traffic for more than three hours for crash cleanup and investigation, and commuters were urged to find alternate routes as traffic backed up. All lanes were reopened by 10 a.m.

Assisting at the crash scene were Indiana State Police, La Porte County EMS, La Porte County HAZMAT and the Kankakee Township Volunteer Fire Department.

— From staff reports