Weather can affect traffic in a multitude of ways. This can include visibility impairment, precipitation, high winds, temperature extremes, traction, stability, and maneuverability problems, and can even cause damage to roadway infrastructures. Wet pavement alone causes more than 1,100,000 car accidents every year, and injures more than half a million people, so it is extremely important to be cognizant of the conditions your drive in this winter season, and react accordingly to keep yourself and those around you safe. (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Road Weather Management Program)
Last Wednesday, one individual was killed and approximately 15 additional people were injured after a pickup truck crashed into a bus on U.S. 20 not far from County Road 450 East. According to reports from the LaPorte County Sherriff’s Deputies, the accident happened around 3:15 p.m. as the driver was heading westbound. Authorities believe that the slick pavement caused the driver to lose control of his pickup truck, and led him to drift past the center divider and strike an eastbound bus before careening into a nearby ditch. The impact of the crash was enough to expel the driver of the truck from his vehicle, and caused the bus to swerve off of the road, settling roughly 300 yards away from the sight of the collision. The accident caused the deputies to temporarily close U.S. 20s eastbound lanes, but traffic began moving again by 6 p.m.
Reports indicate that the bus involved in the accident was carrying a group of people from the New Buffalo Four Winds Casino, and was headed to Mishawaka; all 15 injuries are believed to be non life threatening. Passengers from the bus were transported via 7 ambulances to nearby hospitals, and 55-65 people without injuries were taken to a nearby high school in order to stay warm until another bus could be contacted to take them home. The driver of the pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident remains under investigation. (NWI Times)