Alcohol and Reckless Driving Blamed for LaPorte County Crash

Photo courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department
Photo courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department

A multi-vehicle crash on U.S. 20 in LaPorte County had the highway closed again Saturday morning.

Shortly after 5:00 a.m., LaPorte County Sheriff’s Deputies were notified of a reckless driver heading east on U.S. 20 from U.S. 35., after reportedly ignoring the traffic light at that intersection. A few minutes later, officers were dispatched to a crash on U.S. 20, just west of Fail Road.

Deputies say that when they arrived, they noticed that one of the vehicles involved in the crash, a black 2007 Nissan Maxima, matched the description of the reckless driver’s car. According to the Sheriff’s Department, the Nissan allegedly collided with a U.S. Postal Service truck that was headed westbound on U.S. 20, as part of a caravan of seven postal trucks that were being delivered. That forced a second mail truck off the road and into a field, while a third was also struck and damaged. None of the trucks were carrying mail.

Photo courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department
Photo courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff’s Deputies say the Nissan was completely destroyed in the crash. Its driver, identified as Gary Moorman, 33, of Rolling Prarie, had to be extricated by firefighters. Moorman was airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital with critical injuries, according to the Sheriff’s Department. A blood test allegedly revealed his blood alcohol level to be .27 percent, over three times the legal limit. The drivers of the postal trucks had minor complaints of pain, but none were taken to the hospital.

Meanwhile, a red 2006 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Marc Miller, 23, of Griffith, was also heading eastbound on U.S. 20. Officers say the car was passed by Moorman’s Nissan just before the collision with the mail trucks, forcing Miller to run off the south side of the highway to avoid the crash. That caused Miller to crash into a utility pole. Deputies say both Miller and his passenger were wearing seat belts and were not injured.

The Sheriff’s Department believes alcohol and reckless driving were causes of the crash. It remains under investigation. As a result of the crash, U.S. 20 was closed for over four-and-a-half hours.

Photo courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department
Photo courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department

LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service, the Kankakee and Springfield Township Fire Departments, the LaPorte County Haz-Mat Team, and the Indiana Department of Transportation assisted the Sheriff’s Department.

The incident occurred the day after a one-year-old child had to be airlifted to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis after the vehicle in which he was riding was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer on U.S. 20 in LaPorte County.