Three people were hurt in a series of crashes on U.S. 20 in LaPorte County Tuesday afternoon. It started just after 3:20, when LaPorte County Police say a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was heading north on State Road 39, and its brakes apparently failed as it was approaching the U.S. 20 stoplight.
The driver, Vincent L. Catlin, 61, of LaPorte, told officers he swerved to the right to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of him, but went straight into the side of a Chevy Malibu that was waiting at the stoplight on westbound U.S. 20. That reportedly pushed the rear end of the Malibu into a Chevy Cruze that was stopped next to it.
Police say Catlin suffered a possible broken nose. He was also cited for operating a vehicle without financial responsibility. The driver of the Malibu, Thomas J. Thode, 57, of Rolling Prairie, complained of chest pain, which could have been from the seat belt. Police say the driver of the Cruze, Brett T. Parry, 36, of Michigan City, was knocked unconscious during the collision. He was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital for possible internal injuries.
Then about 20 minutes later, a tow truck responding to the crash reportedly hit the back of a Ford Focus. Police say it happened about a half a mile away, near the intersection of U.S. 20 and Springville Road. The tow truck driver told police that the Focus had moved from the left lane into the right lane and then back again, when the collision happened.
Then around 4:10 p.m., officers say a Ford F250 was rear-ended by a Honda CRV on westbound U.S. 20 at Springville Road. The driver of the Ford said he was turning left onto 20 from Springville Road, but the driver of the Honda, Olivia G. Cloud, 21, of LaPorte, thought the Ford had made a U-turn. Cloud was evaluated by EMS for minor body pain but released.