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Semi driver seriously injured in three-vehicle crash on I-65

Three people were injured Monday when an SUV suddenly shifted lanes and was struck by a semi, which then hit another semi on I-65 in northwest Indiana.

The three-vehicle crash occurred on southbound I-65 just north of the U.S. 30 exit near Merrillville, according to Indiana State Police.

About 2:30 p.m., a 2000 Kenworth pulling a box trailer was stopped in the left center lane behind an earlier crash, a statement from ISP said.

A 2014 Mack semi pulling a dump trailer was also in the left center lane approaching the stopped truck when a 2014 Honda CRV “changed from the right to the left center lane in front of the semi,” according to ISP.

The moving semi hit the rear of the SUV, causing it to spin around and hit the concrete barrier, while the rear of the vehicle “became lodged under the front of the semi,” which then struck the trailer of the stopped semi.

The driver of the moving semi, an 80-year-old man from Hebron, Ind., was taken by ambulance to the parking lot of the nearby Radisson hotel and airlifted to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with serious injuries, ISP said.

The driver of the SUV — a 24-year-old Indianapolis woman — and the driver of the stopped semi — a 36-year-old Wisconsin man — were taken to Methodist Hospital Southlake Campus in Merrillville with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

A small poodle, which was a in dog car seat in the SUV, was not injured and was taken with its owner to the hospital, police said.

The trailer attached to the stopped semi was loaded with 32,000 pounds of cheese, but the load did not spill. The other was empty.

Three left lanes of I-65 were closed for about 90 minutes, but all lanes were reopened just after 5 p.m., ISP said.

No citations had been issued as of early Monday evening.

<small><strong>Three people were injured, one of whom had to be airlifted, after a three-vehicle crash Monday afternoon on I-65 in Merrillville. | Indiana State Police</strong></small>
Three people were injured, one of whom had to be airlifted, after a three-vehicle crash Monday afternoon on I-65 in Merrillville. | Indiana State Police