Crash Involving Semi Claims Life of Chicago Youth

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1550 E. 181st Ave 
Lowell, IN 46356

FOR RELEASE: Upon Receipt

Sgt. Glen Fifield
Lowell District #13
Public Information Officer


Twitter:  @ISPLowell2

DATE: October 1, 2020

Crash Involving Semi Claims Life of Chicago Youth

GARY- This morning at approximately 10:39 a.m., a two-vehicle crash on the Indiana Toll Road (I-90) claimed the life of a 7-year-old Illinois resident.  Preliminary investigation by Senior Trooper Aron Weller shows that prior to the crash, several vehicles were reportedly stopped partially in the right lane near the 12 mile-marker.  This particular portion of interstate is a bridge consisting of three lanes without berms (shoulders).  People were reportedly standing outside of their vehicles attempting to capture a stray dog that had run onto the interstate.  A blue 2017 Chevrolet Volt, driven by Anthony M. Swanson, 38, from Chicago, IL, was eastbound in the center lane approaching the location when the Chevrolet reduced its speed.  As it did so, a white semi-truck/trailer was also traveling eastbound in the center lane behind the Chevrolet.  The truck, a 2018 Freightliner operated by Metropolitan Trucking Inc., (Bolingbrook, IL) was being driven by Javier A. Ayala, 51, from Cleveland, OH.  

The truck rear ended the Chevrolet at a high rate of speed.  This impact caused catastrophic damage to the Chevrolet, ejecting the rear passenger from the vehicle.  The driver and female passenger sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.  They were both transported to Northlake Hospital in Gary for treatment.  The driver of the semi was not injured.  The semi was loaded with 10 lbs. of corrosive acid.  There was no loss of load from the trailer. 

The deceased has been identified as Thatcher Swanson, 7, from Chicago, IL.  Notification to the family has been made by the Lake County Coroner’s Office. 

The Indiana Toll Road eastbound lanes were closed at this location for approximately 6 hours.  Due to the large area covered by the crash scene, the investigation/reconstruction and scene clean-up took an extended amount of time. 

Assisting at the scene were the Indiana Toll Road Maintenance, East Chicago Police Department, Gary Fire Department, Indiana State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Division, Indiana State Police Chaplain’s Office, and the Lake County Coroner’s Office.  All vehicles were towed by WAFFCO Towing,


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