Two men died in a head-on crash in Indiana Thursday morning, both married with two children. One man left his family behind, the other may have stabbed his family to death before hitting the road, according to investigators.
Michael Van Der Linden, 38, drove the wrong way around 1:35 a.m. in the westbound lanes of Interstate 94 near Michigan City, Ind. He collided head-on with another car, driven by Juan Nelson, of Portage, Ind, officials said. The LaPorte County Coroner pronounced both the men involved dead at the scene, Indiana State Police said.
Police also found a woman and two children dead when they tried notifying the family of Michael Van Der Linden's death, police said.
It appears Van Der Linden stabbed his wife and kids before fleeing, investigators said.
"It is a very tough scene, but it's one of these things that we have to investigate," Gregory Laurain told according to Detroit's NBC affiliate WDIV., "Hopefully, we're gonna get some closure on it maybe this afternoon or so."
Police found a weapon in Van Der Linden's home, but police did not give further details, WDIV reported.
Nelson was driving on his way to Michigan city. He worked at the U.S. Steel Corporation in Gary.
"It was heartbroken, man. It was crazy," said Nelson's cousin, Torioun Smith. "You would never think it would happen to someone that close to you."
Van Der Linden had a history of mental illness and had a history of attempting suicide, WDIV reported. The local fire department had also been called to the home for an incident that involved Van Der Linden, according to WDIV.
|Juan and Lena Nelson|
|Linda Van Der Linden and her two children|