Updated: December 29, 2012 10:26PM
Indiana State Police have some words of wisdom for anyone traveling on icy or snow-slicked roads: Slow down.
Vehicles spinning out of control on icy I-65 near Merrillville early Saturday sent four people to hospitals and resulting in heavy damage to two of the cars.
The six vehicles collided about 4:20 a.m. on I-65 northbound near the 259.9 mile marker, which is near the Merrillville exit, Indiana State Police said.
A white 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier was northbound when it spun out on the icy roads and struck the median barrier, a release from state police said. After the car came to rest, the driver, a 31-year-old man from Rensselaer, got out of the car to assess the damage. A black 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by a 19-year-old man from Lawrenceville, Georgia, also lost control and spun out, colliding with the Cavalier, which in turn struck its driver and hurdled him over the median wall.
The driver of the Cavalier was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Hobart with complaints of neck, back and body pain. The driver of the Avalanche and his two passengers, a 37-year-old woman and a 38-year-old man, also from Lawrenceville, Georgia, were taken to North Lake Methodist Hospital in Gary with complaints of back and neck pain. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, state police said. At the time of each crash, seatbelts were in use.
Four other vehicles also lost control and were damaged at this location. There were no injuries from those crashes. Two of the vehicles drove away with minimal damage and the other two were heavily damaged. Both the Cavalier and the Avalanche were a total loss.
“Drivers have to learn to slow down when the weather deteriorates the road conditions,” Trooper Gary Runde of the Lowell Post explained. Additionally, he said, “If you are involved in a crash on a busy highway, the safest place to be is in your car.”
The Lake County Sheriff’s Department assisted with traffic control and secondary crash reports.