Driver escapes fire, but potato load turns to French fries

Photo shows an early morning crash on the toll road in LaPorte County, Ind. when a semi lost control, rolled over and caught fire. (Photo Provided/Indiana State Police)
Photo shows an early morning crash on the toll road in LaPorte County, Ind. when a semi lost control, rolled over and caught fire. (Photo Provided/Indiana State Police)

LAPORTE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – An early morning crash on the Indiana Toll Road closed all eastbound lanes when a semi lost control, rolled over and caught fire.

Photo shows an early morning crash on the toll road in LaPorte County, Ind. when a semi lost control, rolled over and caught fire. (Photo Provided/Indiana State Police)
Photo shows an early morning crash on the toll road in LaPorte County, Ind. when a semi lost control, rolled over and caught fire. (Photo Provided/Indiana State Police)

According to Indiana State Police Trooper Patrick Durham, around 3 a.m. Monday a semi pulling a trailer loaded with potatoes was traveling on Interstate 80/90. The semi driver, 31-year-old Andrzej J. Kudlacik of Streamwood, Ill., said when he was about 1.5 miles east of the Michigan City/U.S. 421 exit, he saw a deer ran out in front of his semi.

Durham said Kudlacik swerved to the left, went off the roadway and hit the concrete barrier wall with the left front of his semi. Durham said, Kudlacik then lost control and rolled the semi on its left side.

According to the police report, Kudlacik escaped the semi as it caught fire and became engulfed. Durham said flaming debris was strewn across all eastbound lanes of the interstate and the grassy median caught fire, too. Westville Fire Department responded to the scene to extinguish the fire.

Kudlacik was not injured and was wearing a seatbelt. ISP said he was cited for unsafe lane movement.

Traffic was diverted off Interstate 80/90 for two hours this morning as crews cleared the scene.

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