REMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Strong winds may have led to two crashes involving three semitractor-trailers, a semi-tanker and a box truck that closed northbound Interstate 65 on Tuesday afternoon.
The northbound lanes remained closed at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. Indiana Department of Transportation estimated that could be closed through at least 2 a.m. Wednesday.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Glen Fifield encouraged motorists to take alternate routes after the crashes that happened about 3 p.m. The WISHTV.com traffic map just before 5 p.m. showed traffic backed up nearly 14 miles on the rural stretch of Interstate 65. Traffic later was diverted onto U.S. 421, according to the Indiana Department of Transpiration online highway information page.
The first crash happened about 3 miles south and the second happened about 4 miles south of the U.S. 24/U.S. 231 interchange near the communities of Remington and Wolcott, according to state police.
In the first crash, a gust of wind blew a semi’s trailer airborne and it hit another northbound semitractor-trailer. Both drivers lost control. One struck a guardrail and crashed in a ditch. The other hit a concrete bridge abutment, causing the cab to separate from the vehicle frame. That semi ended up in a creek. The drivers were taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
The second crash involving a semitractor-trailer, a semitractor-tanker and a box truck happened moments later farther south. The semitractor-trailer was slowing for the earlier crash when it was rear-ended by the semitractor-tanker. That crash pushed the semi-tanker into the box truck, which crashed into a ditch. The semi-tanker then jackknifed and crashed in the median and a ditch. The box truck driver had to be extricated and suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
State police on Tuesday night did not include names of the drivers in a news release.
Fifield had initially estimated Tuesday afternoon that the extensive cleanup could delay the reopening of both lanes until 10:30 p.m. Tuesday or 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.