The LaPorte County E-911 Regional Dispatch Center received a 911 call on March 24th, 2021 at approximately
06:32 PM regarding a crash at the intersection of West US Highway 12 and Sheridan Avenue. It was reported
that a semi-truck and passenger vehicle crashed into each other. Uniform Patrol Shift 2 officers Sergeant
Michael Oberle, Officer Rene Lozano, Officer Steven Kolarczyk and Officer Mark Galetti responded to the
scene and located a beige colored 2006 Buick Rendezvous and white 1999 Freightliner semi-truck with severe
The responding officers then discovered two occupants trapped inside the Buick from extensive damage.
Officers immediately worked to stabilize the occupants until the arrival of LaPorte County EMS and Michigan
City Fire Department personnel. Emergency responders determined the Buick’s driver was in immediate need
of advanced medical attention for life-threatening injuries. A Med Flight helicopter was dispatched to the scene
and subsequently transported the Buick’s driver to a trauma hospital in South Bend, Indiana. The Buick’s
passenger was then transported by LaPorte County EMS to Franciscan Health Michigan City Hospital for
medical treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Michigan City Police Department’s Traffic Division Commander Jeff Loniewski along with accident
investigators Corporal Brian Wright and Officer Shane Washluske were contacted to reconstruct the crash
scene. A preliminary investigation revealed the Buick was traveling westbound on West US Highway 12 at a
high rate of speed when it crossed the center line and collided nearly head-on with the eastbound traveling
Witnesses reported observing the Buick driving erratically just prior to impact. Although the Freightliner also
sustained substantial front-end damage, its driver received non-life-threatening injuries. The Freightliner driver
subsequently submitted to a drug and alcohol test at Franciscan Health Michigan City Hospital as required by
Indiana Code. The Freightliner’s driver did not test positive for either substance. The roadway remained closed
for approximately 5 hours as LaPorte County Hazmat crews worked to clean the scene and the Traffic Division
reconstructed the accident.
At this time the investigation remains ongoing and police have not yet ruled out the possibility that drugs or
alcohol may have been a factor.