Distracted Trucker Plows Big Rig Wasting Load Of Cocoa Powder
Porter County, Indiana – A distracted trucker caused a crash involving two tractor-trailers and created quite a chocolate mess along I-94 on Friday.
According to Indiana State Patrol (ISP), the accident occurred at approximately 3:43 a.m.
ISP said a 1999 Freightliner pulling a box trailer, owned by J. Brothers Logistics Incorporated out of Burr Ridge, Illinois, and driven by Radmilo Samardzio, 70 of Ballwin, Missouri, was struck from behind.
Samardzio had pulled over and parked his semi in the white striped gore area separating the I-94 mainline from the exit ramp to Burns Harbor, investigators said.
Samardzio told ISP he parked to get a bottle of water to drink and engaged his emergency hazards lights moments before his rig was struck.
The semi that struck Samardzio was a 2016 Freightliner, owned by Expedited Freight out of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
It was driven by Steven S. Dare, 57 of Hudsonville, Michigan, authorities said.
According to ISP, Dare was operationg east bound on I-94 in the right lane when he reached over to his passenger seat to get something.
When he did it caused his semi to drift off the roadway and hit the rear of Samardzio’s trailer, investigators said.
Dare’s semi then continued east bound where it crashed into the concrete median barrier wall.
ISP reported that both trailers were split open and their contents strewn across all east bound lanes.
Samardzio was hauling food product including cocoa powder.
Dare was hauling “miscellaneous merchandise” including approximately 100 pounds of lithium batteries, ISP said.
The batteries leaked onto the cocoa powder which caused it to ignite in small batches.
Fire crews were able to quickly douse the flames.
Both drivers were wearing their seat belts and were not injured, ISP said.