Porter man dies in fiery crash on I-80/94

March 7, 2019

PORTAGE – A Porter man died after his SUV crashed into the back of a semi trailer and burst into flames Tuesday night on I-80/94 near Portage, according to Indiana State Police.

Preliminary investigation showed that about 9:45 p.m., a 2017 Mazda CX9 was westbound on the expressway near the 18 mile marker (a mile west of the Portage exit) at a high rate of speed, when for unknown reasons it hit the rear of a semi, according to ISP.

The semi, a 2016 Freightliner owned by General Logistics out of Davenport, Iowa, was pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with steel. It was in the center lane when the driver – Michael DeJohn, 48 of Wyoming, Michigan – said he felt something hit the truck from behind, police said.

He pulled the semi off the roadway onto the shoulder near Ripley Avenue and called police.

The passenger vehicle, after hitting the rear of the semi, was disabled from heavy front end damage and was partially blocking the center and left lanes, ISP said.

“The vehicle immediately caught fire and the driver could not escape,” a statement from ISP said. “Passersby tried to get into the vehicle but were not successful in getting the doors opened.” A trooper also used his fire extinguisher to no avail.

The driver of the SUV – identified as 30-year-old Augustin J. Carreon of Porter – was pronounced dead at the scene, according to ISP.

All westbound traffic on I-80/94 was diverted off at the Portage exit for several hours for extinguishing the fire, removal of the vehicle and deceased, reconstruction of the crash, and clean-up of the roadway, police said.

—From staff reports