Police identify two killed in semitrailer crash on I-65
Indiana State Police say a semitrailer slammed into a trailer stopped along Interstate 65 near Lafayette, killing two men working on the parked truck.
The crash happened about 7:15 a.m. Monday in I-65's southbound lanes a few miles north of Lafayette. Police halted the southbound traffic after the crash and diverted vehicles off I-65 at the Indiana 18 interchange about 10 miles north of the crash scene.
Marek Dziudek, 44, from Downers Grove, IL and Tadeusz Wojtaszek, 31, from Romeoville, IL, died in the crash. Their families have been notified.
According to police, a 2000 Freightliner semi hauling a trailer loaded with a rail container was parked on the outer shoulder. The vehicle was disabled, and the driver was outside of his vehicle. Another semi had pulled ahead of the disabled vehicle to connect to the disabled vehicle's trailer.
Both semi drivers were outside of their vehicles and the man who was disconnecting the trailer from the disabled vehicle was wearing a reflective vest. The trailer was parked near the fog line on the shoulder.
A 42-year-old driver from Illinois, identified as Plata Albertico, was driving a 2004 Freightliner for UPS (owned by Transcorr LLC based in Indianapolis) southbound on I-65 but failed to move into the left lane as he approached the parked vehicles.
Albertico's box truck hit the disabled semi trailer parked on the shoulder, hitting both drivers as they were disconnecting the trailer. He then struck both Freightliners parked on the outer shoulder before coming to rest down in the ditch on the west side of the interstate.
One of the parked vehicles caught fire, and Albertico's semi also caught fire, burning the load he was hauling. Albertico was not injured.
One driver hit at the scene was pronounced dead by the Tippecanoe County Coroner of massive blunt force trauma. The second driver was taken to Indiana University Arnett in Lafayette, where he was later pronounced dead.
As of 1:15 pm, both lanes were back open.