Cops investigate three truck accidents; two in Indiana, one in Oklahoma

Updated Sep 30, 2022
Two-truck collision
Scene from I-80/94 collision in Indiana
Indiana State Police

Tractor-trailers were involved in three separate collisions in the past two days.

Two separate truck crashes occurred along eastbound Interstate 80/94 in Indiana. Another major chain-reaction collision involved several tractor-trailers and occurred Tuesday on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma.

Four trucks involved in two separate crashes on I-80/94

The first crash in Indiana occurred Monday, Sept. 26 at about 9:30 p.m. Indiana State Police say a 2022 Freightliner rear-ended a 2003 Freightliner and trailer that were being towed.

According to a statement from the state police, only minor injuries were sustained by the driver of the 2022 Freightliner. 

Debris and vehicle parts were scattered across all the lanes of the highway, causing. All eastbound lanes to be closed until about 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Truck accidentOne of the accidents on I-80/94 in IndianaAt about 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, troopers were dispatched to I-80/94 eastbound lanes at the 8.8 mile-marker where a 2016 Freightliner was stopped in the lane of travel.  As a trooper was responding to the scene, he observed a 2020 Volvo tractor-trailer, rear-end the trailer of the stopped truck.

A statement from the troopers says as a result of the impact, the driver was trapped inside the cab of the Volvo. While first responders were treating the injured driver, a trooper spoke with the driver of the Freightliner, and, according to police, observed signs of impairment and while attempting to conduct an O.W.I. investigation, the driver physically resisted. 

The driver, Kennieth L. O’Conner Jr., 36, from Zachary, Louisiana, struck the trooper on the head with his arm, according to police. After making multiple requests for O’Conner to stop resisting, a trooper used a taser to subdue him.

The statement from the troopers said O’Conner is preliminarily charged with operating while intoxicated causing catastrophic injuries, battery on law enforcement, and resisting arrest.  Troopers said the charges are preliminary, and final charges will be determined by the Lake County prosecutor’s office.

The driver of the Volvo was transported to Northlake Hospital with life-threatening injuries and later flown to the University of Chicago for treatment.

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The was closed for several hours.

Wildfire smoke blamed for large collision on I-35

Smoke from a wildfire alongside part of southbound Interstate 35 in northern Oklahoma is cited as causing a major collision that left one person dead.

I-35 traffic backupTraffic was backed up several miles by the crash on I-35 in OklahomaOklahoma Highway Patrol

The chain-reaction accident occurred Tuesday afternoon at mile marker 203 of I-35 near Tonkawa in Noble County, which is about 83 miles north of Oklahoma City. 

Oklahoma Highway Patrol said at least eight vehicles including several tractor-trailers, motorhomes, and cars were involved. One unidentified person was killed.

Television news helicopter video of the collision shows at least three tractor-trailers heavily damaged by fire.

A trooper told KWTV that a trucker said that he slowed down and moved to the right shoulder when his truck entered the smoke from the nearby grass fire. It was then, according to the trooper, the trucker felt impacts at the back of his rig.

OHP continues its investigation of the collision.