LAGRANGE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – An Arizona truck driver was in critical condition after his legs were severed during a crash involving three semi-trucks on the Toll Road Friday. Police said on Saturday that he passed away while undergoing surgery.
Just after 5 p.m. on Friday, troopers from the Indiana State Police (ISP) Toll Road Post responded to multi-vehicle crash on theToll Road near the 118 mile marker, just west of Howe.
Responding troopers report finding three commercial vehicles with heavy damage and debris strewn across the westbound lanes of the interstate, with all westbound traffic blocked.
Troopers quickly found several people injured, including one critically injured truck driver, ISP said. The truck driver was identified as Michael S. Lohman, 53, of Glendale, Arizona.
Both of Lohman’s legs were severed, and he also suffered a severe head injury, officials report. Troopers applied tourniquets to both of Lohman’s legs in order to control bleeding before to emergency medical personnel arriving, ISP said. He was airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital for critical care.
Lohman’s 12-year-old son was a passenger in the semi suffering minor injury. He was transported to a LaGrange hospital for medical evaluation. Police said on Saturday that he was released from the hospital and reunited with his mother.
A second truck driver, Ben M. Tehrani, 37, of Brentwood, California, sustained minor injury to his neck, ISP said. He was also transported to a LaGrange hospital for evaluation.
Trooper Brandon Johnson’s preliminary investigation reports that at the time of the crash there was road construction traffic backup in the westbound lanes causing stopped or slowed traffic. Michael Lohman was driving a orange semi westbound approaching the stopped traffic, when he failed to stop and crashed into the rear of a yellow International semi driven by Tehrani. A third vehicle, a white Volvo semi was also hit during the crash. ISP said the driver, Elvis Maksuti, 36, of Waukegan, Illinois, was not injured however there was damage to the trailer unit.
Troopers report that Lohman was not wearing his seatbelt, but his passenger and the other drivers were all properly restrained. Police said that they believe distracted driving due to cellphone use was a factor in this crash.
Trooper Johnson was assisted at the scene several troopers from the Toll Road Post, Parkview EMS, Howe Fire Department, Parkview Samaritan, Indiana Toll Road Maintenance personnel, Grate’s Wrecker Service, and several good Samaritan’s that stopped to help.