Bystanders dragged a driver from his burning Jeep Wrangler after it crashed Thursday afternoon into the back of a straight truck at an intersection on U.S. 52, police say.
The crash happened shortly before 3 p.m. near the south junction of Indiana 28 East, Tippecanoe County police said a press release Friday morning.
Preliminary investigation indicates that a straight truck hauling a load of shingles was traveling north in the right travel lane of U.S. 52 South and stopped in traffic for a red traffic light. The Jeep Wrangler was traveling north in the right lane behind the straight truck. For an unknown reason, police said, the driver of the Jeep failed to slow for stopped traffic and struck the rear of the straight truck. After impact, the Jeep caught fire.
Bystanders removed the driver of the Jeep, who was injured as a result of the crash. Responding emergency personnel activated an emergency helicopter due to the seriousness of his injuries, and he was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for blunt force trauma and burn injuries. The driver's identity is withheld pending the notification of family.
The driver of the commercial vehicle was identified as Travis Spence, age 45, of Delphi, Indiana, driving a 2018 Mack truck for ABC Supply Company based in Lafayette, IN. Spence was uninjured in the crash.
The northbound section of U.S. 52 was closed for about 3 1/2 hours while the crash was investigated and recovery crews cleared the scene.