Fatal motorcycle crash causes fire, lane closures

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LAKE COUNTY – A Valparaiso man died early Monday morning in a crash that led to another accident and closed Interstate 80 in northwest Indiana for about four hours.

According to Indiana State Police, just before 3:40 a.m., John Arama, 64, was heading eastbound on I-80 on a 2002 Road Hawk motorcycle when he fell off the vehicle, landing in the left middle lane. The motorcycle remained in the left lane before skidding to a stop after about a half-mile.

A semi-truck was pulling a load of wheel rims in the middle left lane. The driver couldn’t avoid the motorcycle rider lying in the road and hit him. Arama was pronounced dead at the scene. The semi-truck driver was unhurt.

An Arizona woman driving a Ford Taurus sideswiped the riderless motorcycle in the left lane and then swerved right, crashing into the back of a semi-truck in the lane next to her.

The collision sparked a fire that damaged the car as well as the truck’s load of plastic racks. The driver of the car and her passenger were able to get out of the vehicle before the fire engulfed the car. They suffered non-life threatening injuries. The semi-truck driver was unhurt.

All lanes of eastbound I-80 were diverted off at Burr Street until around 7:40 a.m., when the lanes reopened.