Toll Road Crash Seriously Injures Illinois Driver

At approximately 9:20p.m. Friday, troopers from the Indiana State Police Toll Road Post responded to a reported semi vs car crash on the I-80/90 Indiana Toll Road westbound near the 112 mile marker, LaGrange County.  Arriving on scene, troopers learned that there were actually two separate single vehicle crashes, not a collision between a semi and passenger car.

Trooper Garrett Tharp’s preliminary investigation revealed that a 2017 Kia passenger car had been traveling eastbound on the toll road when, for an unknown reason, it ran off the roadway through center grass median, rolling multiple times in the westbound lanes with oncoming traffic. The Kia came to a final rest on its side and did not strike any other vehicles.

A semi-tractor/trailer traveling in the westbound lanes was able to take evasive action to avoid collision with the Kia passenger car, however the semi then ran off the roadway and crashed in the north ditch. The semi driver, Temitayo Oluwasanmi, 35, of Baltimore, Maryland was not injured in his crash.

The Kia driver, Steven B. Clery, 36, of Berwyn, Illinois, was found to be suffering with multiple serious trauma injuries to his head and arm.  Prior to the troopers’ arrival, several motorists were assisting the injured driver.  Trooper Brandon Johnson applied a tourniquet to Clery’s arm to control the heavy bleeding and then requested a Parkview Samaritan helicopter to the scene.  Prior to Parkview (LaGrange) EMS personnel arriving on scene, Trooper Johnson had to apply a second tourniquet to further control the bleeding.  Clery was flown from the crash site by Parkview Samaritan to PRMC in Fort Wayne. He was last listed in stable condition.

Trooper Tharp’s preliminary investigation found witness information that alleges Clery was observed on his cellphone prior to the crash, suggesting that distracted driving may have been a primary cause, or at least a contributing cause.  Drug impairment is also suspected, a factor that remains under investigation.  Clery was wearing his seatbelt, however the airbags equipped in the KIA were not in working order, apparently because they had deployed in an earlier crash.  Clery’s dog was possibly ejected from the car during the crash, and was later found in good condition in a side ditch.  LaGrange Animal Control was notified to care for the dog.

Westbound lanes of traffic had to be completely shut down for roughly two hours until the vehicles and all debris could be cleared from the roadway.

Trooper Tharp’s completed investigation will be turned over to the LaGrange County Prosecutor for review and determination of any criminal charges that may arise from this crash.