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[ISP] Serious Crash Closes East Bound I-80 Traffic
Start Date: 6/20/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 6/20/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

Family has been notified.  Driver of the 2005 Volvo semi has been identified as Dennis C Schulze, 50 of Beloit, Wisconsin.  He was driving for High Point Trucking out of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Indiana State Police Trooper Gary Runde responded to an early morning crash at approximately 2:49 am, this morning, June 20th, where a two semi crash shut down east bound I-80 traffic at Cline.

Preliminary investigation revealed that an off-duty police officer in her unmarked police car was behind a possible impaired driver.  The suspected impaired driver almost hit two semis and the concrete barrier wall.  The police officer activated her emergency lights on her police car (the police car is fully equipped with police lights inside the vehicle) and stopped the vehicle.  The suspected impaired driver pulled his vehicle off on the outer shoulder east bound I-80 just east of Cline Avenue.  The police officer stopped behind but partially in the right lane.

A 2003 Mack semi-trash hauler, owned by Jehovah Transportation out of Country Club Hills, Illinois, driven by Michael O. Amede, 53 of Country Club Hills, Illinois, was east bound in the right lane when he almost hit the police car and changed lanes into the right middle lane (there are four lanes of traffic here); he was then hit in the rear by another semi.

A 2005 Volvo semi pulling a box trailer, driven by a 50 year-old man from Wisconsin, was east bound in the middle right lane when he hit the rear of the Mack trash hauler.  The 50 year-old driver, was pinned inside his semi for an extended period of time.  The University of Chicago Aeromedical Network (U-CAN) air ambulance landed on the interstate and assisted in trying to extricate the driver.  The driver was extricated and flown to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn with life threatening injuries.

The trash hauler was loaded and was going to Monticello, Indiana coming from Riverdale, Illinois.  Amede was not injured nor did he lose any of his load.

The Volvo semi was loaded with empty flower racks.  No load was loss.
The suspected impaired driver, Ronald E Blankenship III, 21 of Gary was taken to Lake County Jail and charged with Operating While Intoxicated Refusal.

All lanes east bound were re-opened at approximately 11:30 am.

Agencies assisting:  Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Indiana Department of Transportation, Prompt Ambulance, Gary Fore Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Hammond Police Department and U-CAN.

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 Ann Wojas
Phone: (219) 690-0029
Serious Crash on I-80
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Police, Indiana State

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