A truck driver from Olympia Fields, Ill. is dead and a Valparaiso man is in jail after an early morning crash on I-94 in LaPorte County that shut the highway down for about two hours. The wreck occurred near the Indiana-Michigan State Line around 2 a.m. Truck driver George A. Leeth, Sr. of Hammond called 911 from his cell phone to report a suspected drunk driver in an Audi station wagon driving erratically with speeds ranging from 25 to 60 miles-per-hour. The driver, Howard B Gutenstein, 47, of Valparaiso, stopped his car in the middle of the highway, got out and started walking around. Leeth stopped, according to state police, put his flashers on and coaxed Gutenstein back into his car. As Leeth was getting back into his truck, another semi hit him, pushing his truck into Gutenstein’s car. The driver of the second truck, Steven Lunn, 52, of Olympia Fields, Ill.hand to be cut from the cab of his truck and was pronounced dead at the scene of massive trauma. Leeth was taken to a Michigan City hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Gutenstein faces a felony charge of operating while intoxicated causing death and a misdemeanor offense of endangering. State troopers say he had a blood alcohol content of .13 percent.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.