Last Wednesday, June 1 at about around 3 p.m., there was a pileup on the Indiana Toll Road, part of I-80 and I-90. I was working on the story about the increases on the fare to use the toll road when I noticed a section shut down and being rerouted. Well, it was a pretty bad scene west of South Bend, Indiana, where Chasen Thompson, 26, ran into a group of cars slowed by a lane merge due to bridge repairs.
Local police said five passenger vehicles were involved in the incident. Thompson, of Hamlin, New York, was arrested at the scene for possession of marijuana. He submitted to a blood draw at the scene, a routine practice and requirement after incidents. He was released later on his own recognizance, with a July 27 court hearing.
Eric Klein, 45, of Anna, Ohio died in the pile-up after his SUV caught fire. Jacqueline Luczak, 82, of Cicero, Illinois, also passed away when the car she was a passenger in was hit. Three of the passengers in the car were hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries. Two others were also hospitalized with injuries. Indiana Toll Road operators had the road reopened by 8 p.m. that evening.
This is another reason to not drive under the influence of drugs that may be legal in some areas. You are the captain of your ship, and you must have a clear, attentive mind at all times. It is also summer road construction season, so merges and other construction-related slowdowns will be everywhere. Look as far down the road as you can and anticipate slowdowns around every long, blind curve.