A single-vehicle crash Thursday night left County Road 200 West in Liberty Township temporarily closed while firefighters worked on extricating a driver from the vehicle.

The crash, which occurred around 6:12 p.m. shut down 200 West between 900 North and 1000 North for approximately one hour while firefighters were working the scene.

Arriving firefighters found the vehicle upright and perpendicular in the middle of the road just south of the CSX railroad tracks with significant damage to the vehicle, which was later towed. It is currently unknown what caused the driver – who was headed south on 200 West to leave the roadway, striking a tree and landing approximately 100 yards south of the railroad tracks in the middle of the road during the preliminary investigation. The driver was found conscious but not alert and was responding appropriately to responders on scene. Firefighters had entered into vehicle to stabilize the driver who was trapped behind the steering wheel and driver seat unable to move freely. Multiple air bags were deployed as a result of the crash.

The driver door and seat belt were removed by force with extrication tools while the driver was being tended to by medics on scene. Once the door was removed and firefighters were able to see inside better to assess the situation. Firefighters discovered that one foot from the driver was punched through the floorboard. The driver was transported with life-threatening injuries to Northwest Health Hospital where an air ambulance was dispatched to transport to a trauma center in Chicago.

There were no other passengers or vehicles involved in this crash.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Porter County Sheriff’s Department.