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Elderly Wrong-Way Driver Wreaks Havoc On I-65

FAIR OAKS, Ind. (STMW) - An elderly driver wreaked havoc on I-65 Monday afternoon, sending cars into snow embankments, ditches and guard rails as they swerved to avoid hitting him near Fair Oaks, Ind.

George G. Kallis, 88, of Knox, Ind. was driving a 2002 Chrysler Voyager about 12:30 p.m. and thought he had left Winamac to head home to Knox when he entered I-65 going the wrong direction, a release from Indiana State Police said.

Kallis first came across a 1998 Jeep, which was also in the right lane. The driver swerved to avoid Kallis' car and hit a guard rail, the release said.

Kallis then encountered a 2002 Saturn around the 224 mile marker. The driver saw Kallis and had to swerve left to avoid the Voyager. The Saturn left the roadway, hit a metal post, then a snow embankment. That sent the Saturn airborne 40 feet. The driver, from Lockport, was not injured.

Kallis continued on and encountered a 1996 International semi-empty flat bed and a 2011 Volvo semi-box trailer. The driver of the flat-bed semi was in the left lane and moved to the right lane, while the other semi driver moved to the outer shoulder to avoid Kallis' vehicle, the release said.

An Oak Lawn driver driving a 2010 Jeep Cherokee was in the right lane when both the semi drivers made their lane changes. The Cherokee driver then drove his SUV between the two semis and hit one of the semi's tandems and diesel fuel tanks, the release said.

That caused the Jeep to slide sideways in the middle of I-65 and yet another semi driver, who was in the left lane, then hit the rear of the Jeep. The Jeep was then pushed into the rear of the initial semi involved in the crash.

Kallis' Voyager ultimately sideswiped a box trailer in the left lane, ending the wrong-way voyage.

Both Kallis and the driver of the Jeep were taken to Jasper County Hospital. The Jeep was totaled in the crash and the driver complained of neck and back pain, the release said.

Kallis was not injured but was hospitalized for observation. He was cited for going the wrong way on a one-way and additional charges may be pending, the release said.

I-65 southbound was completely closed for investigation of the crash, clean-up of the roadway, removal of the vehicles and to check on the drivers. All lanes were re-opened by about 2:30 p.m.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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