PORTER CO., Ind. (ADAMS) – A crash involving two semis on I-94 closed eastbound traffic for hours Friday morning.
Preliminary investigation by Trooper William Carlson revealed at approximately 3:43 a.m., this Friday, June 14, 2019, morning, a 1999 Freightliner pulling a box trailer, owned by J. Brothers Logistics Incorporated out of Burr Ridge, Illinois, and driven by Radmilo Samardzio, 70 of Ballwin, Missouri, had pulled over and parked his semi in the white striped gore area (this separates the I-94 mainline from the exit ramp to Burns Harbor). Samardzio stated he parked to get a bottle of water to drink and stated he had put his emergency hazards on when he was hit from behind.
A 2016 Freightliner, owned by Expedited Freight out of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and driven by Steven S. Dare, 57 of Hudsonville, Michigan, was eastbound on I-94 in the right lane when he reached over to his passenger seat to get something, this caused his semi to drift off the roadway and hit the rear of Samardzio’s trailer.
Dare’s semi continued eastbound where it crashed into the concrete median barrier wall; both trailers were split open and their contents were strewn across all lanes eastbound. Samardzio was hauling food product one of those being cocoa powder. Dare was hauling miscellaneous merchandise, part of his load was approximately 100 pounds of lithium batteries. The batteries leaked onto the cocoa powder which caused it to ignite in small batches. The fire department was able to put these out with water. There was no hazardous material.
Both drivers were wearing their seat belts and were not injured.
An extended clean up was required.