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The Journal Gazette

  • Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette One semi sits on top of another on U.S. 30 in Columbia City on Tuesday after the driver of one of the semis fell asleep and rammed the other.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:08 am

Semi flattens car hauler in fiery crash on US 30

Frank Gray | The Journal Gazette

One truck driver suffered burns after a fiery crash involving two semis that closed all lanes of U.S. 30 in Columbia City on Tuesday morning.

The crash, reported about 9:20 a.m., shut down all of a stretch of U.S. 30 for a time, and the eastbound lanes were closed until late Tuesday afternoon.

The Whitley County Sheriff’s Department said an empty car carrier was stopped at a red light on U.S. 30 at Lincolnway when another truck struck it and rolled on top of it.

Then the trucks caught fire.

The driver of the truck that hit the car carrier told police he fell asleep. He was able to get out of his truck.

The driver of the car carrier was caught in his cab. Passers-by with fire extinguishers tried to keep the fire under control until emergency workers arrived and were able to get him out of the truck. He was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne.

The identities of the drivers and the burned driver’s condition were not available.

The crash caused traffic to be rerouted off U.S. 30 and through Columbia City, causing a backup of trucks and cars miles long that clogged traffic in downtown Columbia City.

fgray@jg.net