Construction worker killed on Indiana interstate

PORTER CO., Ind. (ADAMS) – Indiana State Police say that on Friday morning, at 2:55 a.m., troopers were dispatched to a crash involving a semi and another truck on I-94 east-bound, near the 23 mile-marker. This is approximately one mile east of the Burns Harbor/Porter exit ramp. The initial officer on-scene was a Burns Harbor officer who located a male subject lying in the roadway. A semi was fully engulfed and another truck with orange traffic barrels was located in the south ditch in the trees. A helicopter was originally contacted for the injured, but it was canceled when it was determined that the victim was deceased.

Preliminary investigation by Senior Trooper Anthony Potesta shows that a 2019 Volvo tractor/trailer was east-bound when for unknown reasons it drove onto the right shoulder. Parked on the right shoulder, with its amber warning lights activated, was a 2017 Dodge Ram straight truck owned by Traffic Control Specialists, Inc. The vehicle was stopped on the shoulder due to the occupants being construction workers and they were actively performing maintenance to the orange construction zone signs along I-94. The driver of the Dodge stepped out of the left side of the truck at approximately the same time it was rear-ended by the Volvo semi. This impact resulted in the driver sustaining fatal injuries. The impact caused the Dodge to travel down the right ditch and into the trees. A male passenger in the Dodge was not injured. Following the initial impact, the Volvo continued east, crossed all lanes of travel and struck the concrete median wall where it burst into flames. The driver of the Volvo, Kuldeep Singh Palak, 54, from Alberta, Canada, was able to escape injury. The truck is owned/operated by Tri-Star Carriers Ltd., located in Ontario Canada. The trailer was loaded with 37,000 lbs. of frozen pork and was en route to Ottawa, Ontario from Oakland, Iowa. The contents of the trailer were lost due to the fire.

Police say this is an ongoing investigation. The Indiana State Police Crash Reconstruction Team was notified for scene investigation. The Indiana State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Division (CVED) is assisting with a Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspection. Formal charges or citations are pending the outcome of the investigation and will be determined by the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office. The vehicles were towed by WAFFCO Towing. Assisting at the scene were the following: Sgt. Dale Turner (CVED), M/Trp. Lawrence McFarrin, Trooper Kurtis Jones and Trooper John Landowski (Reconstruction), Burns Harbor Police Department, Porter Police Department, Porter County HAZMAT, IDEM, Burns Harbor Fire Department, Porter County Coroner and INDOT.