FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Indiana State Police are investigating after a suspected distracted driver caused two crashes on the 80/90 Indiana Toll Road in LaGrange County.
ISP was called to the westbound toll road around 9:20 p.m. on reports of a semi versus car crash near the 112 mile marker. When they arrived, they discovered it was actually two crashes that had occurred.
According to a preliminary investigation, Steven Clery, 36, of Berwyn, Illinois was driving east on the toll road when his 2017 Kia passenger car ran off the roadway for an unknown reason. The Kia went through the center grass median and rolled multiple times in the westbound lane with oncoming traffic before coming to a stop on its side. It did not hit any other vehicles.
However, a semi-truck driven by Temitayo Oluwasanmi, 35, of Baltimore, Maryland took evasive action to avoid hitting Clery’s Kia. That action ran the semi off the roadway and crashed into the north ditch. Oluwasanmi was not injured in his crash.
Westbound lanes were shut down for around two hours while debris was cleared from the roadway. Clery suffered serious injuries to his head and arm. Although he was wearing a seatbelt, ISP reports that his airbags did not inflate because they had deployed in a previous crash and were not in working order. He was flown by Parkview Samaritan to a hospital, where his condition was last listed as unchanging. A dog traveling with him was possibly ejected from the car and found in a side ditch in good condition.
Several motorists stopped to assist Clery after the crash. Witnesses told police that Clery was allegedly seen using his cell phone prior to the crash, suggesting that distracted driving was at least a contributing cause. Drug impairment is also suspected.
The Toll Road and Fort Wayne ISP Posts responded to the crash, as well as Parkview LaGrange EMS, LaGrange Fire, and LaGrange Animal Control.