Gary, Lake County- An early Monday morning crash took the life of a motorcyclist and caused a car and semi fire that closed I-80 east bound for almost 4 hours.
Preliminary investigation by Trooper John Holmen revealed that at approximately 3:37 A.M., Monday, June 17, 2013, a 2002 Road Hawk trike (3 wheel) motorcycle was east bound on I-80 (Borman Expressway) just east of Chase Street in the left middle lane when for unknown reasons the driver came off the motorcycle. The driver landed in the left middle lane and the motorcycle continued east for approximately ½ mile before it came to rest in the left lane.
A 2000 Volvo semi pulling a trailer loaded with a rail container, owned by Fly Fast Incorporated out of Bloomingdale, Illinois that contained wheel rims, was driven by Bryant Winfield, 30 of Country Club Hills, Illinois was east bound and in left middle lane and could not avoid the motorcyclist laying in the roadway. Winfield was not injured and no load was loss.
The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by the Lake County Coroner of blunt force trauma.
Family HAS NOT been notified. Name is being withheld pending notification.
A 2003 Ford Taurus, driven by Janet Gutierrez, 28 of Tonopah, Arizona was east bound in the left lane when she sideswiped the Road Hawke motorcycle that had came to a stop in the left lane; as she swerved to the right to avoid the motorcycle she hit the rear of a semi in left middle lane. The semi, a 1998 International pulling a trailer loaded with a rail container loaded with plastic racks, driven by Marko Jovicic, 37 of Indiana Head Park, Illinois was coming from Bedford Park, Illinois going to Grand Rapids, Michigan when it was hit in the rear trailer. Gutierrez and her passenger, Lily Jimenez, 18 of Phoenix, Arizona, were able to escape from the Taurus before it became engulfed by fire. Gutierrez and Jimenez were both taken to North lake Methodist Hospital in Gary with non-life threatening injuries they were both wearing seat belts. The rear half of Jovicic’s load of plastic racks were also damaged by the fire. Jovicic was not injured.
All lanes east bound were diverted off at Burr Street until approximately 7:39 A.M. when they reopened.