TIPPECANOE COUNTY – Two people died in a crash involving multiple semi trucks on I-65 southbound near Lafayette.
According to Indiana State Police, a semi truck was parked alongside the road and outside the vehicle because it was disabled. A second semi had pulled ahead of the truck so that the disabled vehicle’s trailer could be transferred.
The drivers of both trucks were next to the road getting ready to make the transfer. One of the men was wearing a reflective vest as they worked near mile marker 177.
Around 7:20 a.m., another semi approached. State police said the driver didn’t see the other semi trucks and failed to get into the left lane. That truck hit the disabled trailer parked on the shoulder, striking both men as they were disconnecting it. The semi then hit both trucks on the outer shoulder before veering right and going off the road. Two of the trucks caught fire.
The men who were working to disconnect the trailer were killed. State police released their identities Monday afternoon: Marek Dziudek, 44, Downers Grove, Ill., and Tadeusz Wojtaszek, 31, Romeoville, Ill. The driver of the semi that hit them, Plata Albertico, 42, Berwyn, Ill., was not injured.
All lanes of southbound I-65 were closed for several hours, although one lane reopened around 10:30 a.m.
State police said all vehicles and trailers involved in the crash were damaged.