Highway worker killed when semi veers off I-94 in northwest Indiana

I-94 crash scene

Photo of crash scene on I-94 provided by Indiana State Police

PORTER COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) A highway worker performing maintenance on construction zone signs in northwest Indiana died early Friday morning after he stepped out of his truck and was hit by a semi on I-94 according to Indiana State Police. The incident took place just before 3:00 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-94 one mile east of the Burns Harbor/Porter exit ramp

When first responders arrived on the scene they found a semi fully engulfed in flames and another truck with orange traffic barrels off the highway in some trees in a ditch and a body lying in the roadway.

Investigators determined a 2019 Volvo tractor/trailer was eastbound when for unknown reasons it drove onto the right shoulder where a truck owned by Traffic Control Specialists was parked with its amber warning lights activated.

Photo provided by Indiana State Police

The highway workers driving the maintenance truck stepped out of the vehicle at approximately the same time it was rear-ended by the Volvo semi.  The impact killed him and caused the maintenance truck to travel into a ditch with trees. A second worker in the maintenance truck was not injured. 

After the initial impact, the Volvo continued east, crossed back across 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 get out of the truck safely.  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.

Formal charges or citations are pending the outcome of the investigation and will be determined by the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office. The worker who was killed has been identified as Ryan E. Greer, 38, of Knox, Indiana.

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