You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Burst of snow triggered big Indiana pile-up

This cell phone image shows a massive highway pileup on Interstate 94 near Michigan City, Ind.

Matt Carpenter/Sun-Times Media, via AP

This cell phone image shows a massive highway pileup on Interstate 94 near Michigan City, Ind.

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Cars were mangled, and some were burned despite the blowing snow. Other vehicles were crushed between jackknifed semi-tractors, so entwined that it was difficult to tell them apart.

People were screaming, but emergency responders could not see many of them as they quickly tended to victims amid frigid conditions.

Continue reading below

Within seconds, traffic along snow-covered Interstate 94 in northern Indiana had become a milelong pile of debris after whiteout conditions swept in during the Thursday evening commute. Three people were killed and nearly two dozen were injured.

‘‘It was such a devastating scene, you don’t know where to start,’’ said Coolspring Township Fire Chief Mick Pawlik, whose volunteers were among the first on the scene 60 miles south of Chicago.

Rescuers set about prioritizing the victims based on the severity of their injuries.

The chain-reaction collision was triggered by a burst of heavy lake-effect snow that took drivers by surprise, said Indiana State Police Lieutenant Jerry Williams. In 45 seconds, dozens of vehicles — including numerous other trucks — crashed into one another.

Loading comments...
Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of