LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – As traffic moved on Interstate 65 Sunday afternoon, there is still evidence of the fiery crash that happened just a day before.
“It shook the house and we couldn’t figure it out. It was definitely something big and something different,” said Lafayette resident Chuck Hockema.
Hockema lives next to I-65 and said he heard the explosions from Saturday afternoon’s crash.
“We heard the boom and it was almost like there had to be police or somebody close by because there were sirens that went off almost immediately,” said Hockema.
The northbound lane of I-65 was finally reopened just before 5 am Sunday, after crews spent more than 12 hours cleaning up after the multi vehicle wreck.
Indiana State Police Sergeant Kim Riley Sgt. Riley says the crash happened when a vehicle lost control and wrecked in the northbound lane of I-65 just north of the state road 26 exit. A semi then slowed to avoid the accident, causing a chain reaction.
“The semis behind him and the vehicles behind that semi were traveling too fast for conditions and or following too close. It couldn’t get stopped as he slowed down and then the chain reaction started,” said Sgt. Riley.
The initial crash involved nine semis and four cars. More than 10 cars were involved in secondary accidents along the interstate. Four people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and released.
“This crash could have been a lot worse. Just make sure you’ve got the distance to stop if something does happen in front of you,” said Sgt. Riley.
Sgt. Riley says this is a good example of why it’s important to keep emergency equipment like blankets and water in your car. Many drivers were stranded on the interstate for more than 5 hours.