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[ISP] Car Drives Off Overpass; Indiana Man Airlifted
Start Date: 8/5/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 8/5/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

LaPorte County,- Last night, Sunday August 5th, at approximately 10:03 p.m.(CST), Indiana State Police responded to a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 80 (Toll Road) at the 40 mile marker (approximately one mile west of the Michigan City exit) where a driver was airlifted for his injuries.

Preliminary investigation revealed that Ryan Joseph Smith, 20, of LaPorte, Indiana, driver of a 1995 Chevrolet, was north bound of Holmsville Road. For unknown reasons, Smith drove off of the Holmsville Road overpass; the Chevrolet went airborne and struck a 2013 Mack semi pulling a box trailer that was east bound on Interstate 80. The Chevrolet then rolled multiple times through the median; Smith was ejected from the Chevrolet. The Chevrolet continued into the west bound lanes were it struck a 2005 Volvo semi pulling a box trailer.

The 2013 Mack, owned by Colonial Courier Service Inc. out of Sylvania, Ohio, was hauling industrial equipment. It was driven by Franklin S. Estep, 47 of Sylvania, Ohio. He was not injured. The load was damaged due to the trailer breaking in the center from the impact. The load was coming from Franklin Park, Illinois headed to Lockbourne, Ohio.

The 2005 Volvo, owned by DDA Group Inc. out of Chicago, Illinois, was hauling engine parts. It was driven by Tinomir Petkovic, 26 of Des Plaines, Illinois. He was not injured. The load was not lost. The load was coming from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania headed to Naperville, Illinois.

The Memorial Med Flight air ambulance landed on the interstate then flew the driver (Ryan Joseph Smith) to South Bend Memorial Hospital, in South Bend, Indiana, with life-threatening injuries. His family was notified and at the scene. Smith was pronounced deceased at the hospital in the early morning hours on Monday, August 6th.

All lanes east and west bound were closed for approximately four and half hour while attending to injured, helicopter landing, crash investigation, and vehicles removal and clean up, before one lane in each direction was reopened. The remaining lanes were reopen shortly afterwards.

Agencies assisting: Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, LaPorte County Sheriff Department, LaPorte County Fire Department,  Memorial Med Flight air ambulance, Indiana Toll Road Concession Company Maintenance, and Clover Leaf Wrecker Services.

All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Contact Information:
Name: Sergeant Wanda D. Clay
Phone: (219) 690-0029
Email: wclay@isp.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
    Police, Indiana State

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