It was a tragic start to the Memorial Day holiday weekend as a construction worker was killed on I-94 near the Burns Harbor/Porter exit ramp.
The collision happened just before 3 a.m. on Friday, May 22, and involved a semi that drove off the road, on to the right shoulder and smashed into a construction pickup truck.
The driver of the pick-up stepped out of the vehicle just as it was hit by the semi, which then burst into flames. The construction worker, Ryan Greer, 38, of Knox, was killed.
A second person in the pickup escaped injury. The semi driver was not hurt.
The Indiana State Police released the following information about the crash:
PORTER COUNTY- This morning at 2:55 a.m., troopers were dispatched to a crash involving a semi and another truck on I-94 east-bound, near the 23 mile-marker. This is approximately one mile east of the Burns Harbor/Porter exit ramp. The initial officer on-scene was a Burns Harbor officer who located a male subject lying in the roadway. A semi was fully engulfed and another truck with orange traffic barrels was located in the south ditch in the trees. A helicopter was originally contacted for the injured, but it was cancelled when it was determined that the victim was deceased.
Preliminary investigation by Senior Trooper Anthony Potesta shows that a 2019 Volvo tractor/trailer was east-bound when for unknown reasons it drove onto the right shoulder. Parked on the right shoulder, with its amber warning lights activated, was a 2017 Dodge Ram straight truck owned by Traffic Control Specialists, Inc. The vehicle was stopped on the shoulder due to the occupants being construction workers and they were actively performing maintenance to the orange construction zone signs along I-94. The driver of the Dodge stepped out of the left side of the truck at approximately the same time it was rear-ended by the Volvo semi. This impact resulted in the driver sustaining fatal injuries. The impact caused the Dodge to travel down the right ditch and into the trees. A male passenger in the Dodge was not injured. Following the initial impact, the Volvo continued east, crossed all lanes of travel and struck the concrete median wall where it burst into flames. The driver of the Volvo, Kuldeep Singh Palak, 54, from Alberta, Canada, was able to escape injury. The truck is owned/operated by Tri-Star Carriers Ltd., located in Ontario Canada. The trailer was loaded with 37,000 lbs. of frozen pork and was en route to Ottawa, Ontario from Oakland, Iowa. The contents of the trailer were lost due to the fire.
This is an ongoing investigation. The Indiana State Police Crash Reconstruction Team was notified for scene investigation. The Indiana State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Division (CVED) is assisting with a Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspection. Formal charges or citations are pending the outcome of the investigation and will be determined by the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office. The vehicles were towed by WAFFCO Towing. Assisting at the scene were the following: Sgt. Dale Turner (CVED), M/Trp. Lawrence McFarrin, Trooper Kurtis Jones and Trooper John Landowski (Reconstruction), Burns Harbor Police Department, Porter Police Department, Porter County HAZMAT, IDEM, Burns Harbor Fire Department, Porter County Coroner and INDOT.
Notification of the deceased has been made by the Porter County Coroner’s Office. The deceased has been identified as Ryan E. Greer, 38, from Knox, IN.
The Indiana State Police would like to stress the importance of slowing down for construction zones and yielding to emergency vehicles when they are stopped on the side of the roadways. Drive through these construction zones as if your family member or loved one is working. By driving safely, you will make it to your destination and construction workers will have a safer working environment and most importantly, also be able to go home at the end of their shift.