NORTHWEST INDIANA - Indiana State Police were kept extremely busy responding to incidents during this past weekend's Christmas Eve winter storm. Public Information Officer and Master Trooper Glen Fifield says the storm resulted in numerous crashes and calls for service the entire Christmas weekend for troopers working at the Lowell Post which covers Northwest Indiana. Fifield says from the morning of December 24th until the late evening December 25th, the calls for service along I-80/94 and I-65 were numerous.
"We encountered a lot of crashes, people in ditches, slide offs," Fifield says. "It was a very busy weekend for us starting really Saturday morning at about 7 - 7:30 somewhere in there about, central time."
The calls over that period included 68 Property Damage Crashes, 17 Personal Injury Crashes, 44 Slide Offs that required tow truck assistance and 32 motorists assists that encompass fuel and flat tire issues. But Fifield said there was an especially bad incident in Jasper County.
"We had a nine-car pileup on I-65 down in Rensselaer at about the 213 mile marker," Fifield says. "There was actually two crashes there. One individual lost control of his vehicle and crashed and as vehicles were approaching that crash scene, people began to loose control and slide as they braked and just cause a chain reaction of collisions. There was a total of nine cars involved in that crash. There were no injuries thankfully, but that did result in the road being closed for about an hour for cleanup."
Police say many of the crashes could have been prevented had motorists slowed down or reduced their following distances between vehicles.
With the forecast of sub-zero wind chills this week, motorists are encouraged to pack survival supplies when traveling in case of emergencies. Blankets, extra clothes, cell phone charger, food, water, flashlight,and emergency flares/fuses are just a few items to consider packing.