Chemicals spill on Indiana toll road near Michigan border in fatal tanker crash
LAGRANGE COUNTY, IN – A toll road in northern Indiana was closed for several hours after a rollover accident in which a tractor-truck driver was killed and hazardous materials spilled onto the roadway.
According to Indiana State Police Private Nikolos Anderson, Omar Pleasont, 35, of Portage, Indiana was killed in the crash that occurred just south of the Michigan border on the I -80 Eastbound in LaGrange County at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Pleasont’s Freightliner 2020 semi-tractor was carrying a bulk liquid tanker when it left the roadway and struck the center median, causing the semi-tractor and tanker to overturn.
The semi-tractor ended up in the right lane eastbound and the tanker came to rest in the median where it began to leak hazardous materials later identified as hydrochloric acid.
Police found Pleasont trapped inside the taxi and he was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Due to the nature of the chemical spill hazard for hydrochloric acid, the immediate area was evacuated until the hazardous material could be cleaned up. This led to the closure of eastbound and westbound traffic lanes.
The evacuation process and chemical spill response was coordinated by LaGrange County Fire Department, Response Management Services (RMS) and LaGrange County Emergency Management (EMA ).
Once the area was secured for first responders, Pleasont’s body was removed from the wreckage. The overall clean-up effort continued until about 3 a.m., when traffic was restored in both directions.