LAKE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) A crash Friday afternoon on the Toll Road involving an Indiana State Trooper and two other vehicles left one person dead.
Just before 1:30 p.m., Trooper Anthony Potesta, 32, had just checked on a vehicle that was parked on the eastbound outer shoulder of the Toll Road just east of the I-65 ramp. After checking on the driver, Potesta took off from the shoulder in his fully marked 2010 Crown Victoria police car. As he tried to cross all lanes of eastbound traffic to go into the emergency crossover, he was hit by a pickup truck driven by James Helmecy Junior, 39, of Portage.
Helmecy lost control and went into the left lane of westbound Toll Road traffic, where he hit a car head on.
The car’s driver, Lucas Del Valle, 51, of Amherst, Ohio, was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force trauma. His passengers, Sharon Del Valle, 51, and two daughters, ages 17 and 19, were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Helmecy and Potesta were also taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Eastbound traffic was closed for over an hour. Westbound traffic was closed for about five hours while crews investigated the scene and removed the vehicles.