Semi rollover blamed on 'a fit of sneezing and coughing'

LAKE COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) "A fit of sneezing and coughing" caused a truck driver to lose control of his semi and roll over, police say.

From Indiana State Police - Lowell District:

Hammond, Lake County-Yesterday morning a fit of sneezing and coughing caused a truck driver to lose control of his semi and roll over.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Clay McBride showed at approximately 11:00 a.m., yesterday, Thursday, October 17, 2019, a 2018 Freightliner semi pulling a box trailer, owned by Semo Express out of Sikeston, Missouri, and driven by Steven Baker Junior, 47 of East Prairie, Missouri, was exiting from I-80/94 east bound to Indianapolis Boulevard north bound when he lost control. Baker stated he became distracted by a spell of sneezes and coughs, when he opened his eyes the thought he saw a passenger car next to him which caused him to swerve to avoid it. The Freightliner left the roadway and Baker felt his trailer (loaded with 30,000 pounds of aluminum) to sway. The semi overturned onto its driver’s side and it came to rest in the right lane of Indianapolis Boulevard northbound.

Baker (who was wearing his seat belt) was entrapped and had to be extricated from the semi by Good Samaritans and was transported to North Lake Hospital in Gary with non-life threatening injuries.

The semi-trailer had to be off-loaded before it could be up righted. The crash site was re-opened at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Assisting: Hammond Fire, EMS and Civil Service and Bert’s Towing