Boy, 10, killed in crash involving van, semi on U.S. 421

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A 10-year-old boy was killed in a crash on U.S. 421 in LaPorte County.

The collision happened on around 10:20 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 21.

Deputies were called to the 14000 block of U.S. 421, near Wanatah, regarding the crash which involved a van and a semi.

Investigators say a tree service company truck was backing a wood chipper out of a driveway and onto the highway. A company representative was standing in the middle of US 421 serving as a flagger for traffic control purposes. The flagger had northbound and southbound traffic stopped to allow the truck and wood chipper to exit the driveway.

A 2004 Chrysler van, driven by a 30-year-old LaPorte man, had been traveling southbound on U.S. 421. The van was slowing or had come to a complete stop  as traffic yielded to the direction of the flagger.

A 2014 Volvo semi-tractor, driven by a 30-year-old Ecorse, Michigan man was also traveling southbound on U.S. 421. The man told deputies he realized traffic had stopped too late, had little time to react and crashed into the back of the van.

The van contained five occupants; two adults and three children, all of which were injured, trapped inside and required extrication from the van.

The driver of the van sustained an upper body injury and was transported by ground to an area hospital for treatment.

The adult front seat passenger sustained an upper body injury and was also transported by ground to an area hospital for treatment.

A juvenile, who had been seated in a rear seat, sustained significant injuries and was flown by a medical helicopter to a regional hospital for treatment.

A second juvenile, who had been seated in the rear seat, sustained severe injuries and was flown from the scene by a medical helicopter to a regional hospital for treatment.

A third juvenile, who had been seated in a rear seat, sustained injuries and was transported by ground to an area hospital for treatment.

As deputies continued to investigate, they learned the 10-year-old boy who had been seated in the center of the rear seat, had died.

U.S. 421 was closed for about 3 hours for the investigation.

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