I-94 Eastbound under County Road 400 just west of Wozniak Road at approximately 2:30 pm CST Thursday. [submitted via Facebook/photo credit Sarah Hyska, who we're told took this photo with her phone from a school bus window].
Indiana State Police are predicting it will take several weeks to complete the investigation into the horrific 46-vehicle pileup in blinding snow on eastbound I-94 near Michigan City Thursday afternoon that killed three people and injured at least twenty others. Officials say of the 46 vehicles involved, 19 were semis. Several passenger cars were crushed between the semis, and some ended up underneath the big rigs. Officials have identified those killed as 65-year-old Jerry Dalrymple of Chicago,who died at the scene from blunt force trauma. His Golden Retriever also died in the crash. Also killed were a couple from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They were identified as 65-year-old Marilyn Wolma, who was pronounced dead at the scene, and her husband, 67-year-old Thomas Wolma, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Officials say the Wolmas were traveling from Wisconsin back home to Michigan after caring for a relative.
The crashes occurred on I-94 eastbound between the 35.5 - 36.5 mile-markers. With tow trucks, cranes and portable lights, emergency crews launched desperate rescue operations that turned into a race against the clock to protect survivors from the extreme cold. Michigan City Police provided a bus to serve as a warming station for first responders, and the American Red Cross was on scene providing food and drink to responders.
As of 5-o'clock this morning (Fri 1/24/14) CST, the eastbound side of I-94 was still closed from SR 49 (exit 26) to US 35 (exit 40 in LaPorte area). The westbound lanes of I-94 have reopened, but are still described as very icy.
We also received a report that traveling eastbound on the Indiana Toll Road is still very bad with snow on the road once you reach the LaPorte area.