A Liberty Township resident died in a two vehicle accident on Tuesday at the
intersection of Ind. 149 and C.R. 875N, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police
The victim was identified as David A. Pence, 69. Porter County Coroner
Victoria Deppe pronounced him dead at the scene, police said, and today her
spokesperson told the Chesterton Tribune that cause of death was determined
to be multiple blunt force trauma to the head and chest.
According to police, at 10:48 a.m. Pence was westbound in his 1993 Ford
Taurus on C.R. 875N. Witnesses advised police that he stopped for the stop
sign at the intersection of Ind. 149, then proceeded from the stop sign, and
was struck in the driver’s side door by a 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
northbound on Ind. 149 and driven by Crystal S. Burch, 26, of Portage.
Burch advised police that she braked and swerved but was unable to avoid
Both vehicles came to rest in a field northwest of the intersection, Burch’s
after striking a utility pole, police said.
Burch declined medical treatment at the scene but was subsequently treated at
Porter Portage Hospital Campus for pain and abrasions to her arm. Two of her
passengers, a 28-year-old Portage woman and a 16-year-old South Haven girl,
were uninjured, police said, but a third–who had unbuckled her seat belt just
prior to the crash to reach for something–struck her forehead and sustained
The results of a routine blood test on Burch are pending, police said, but
there is no indication at all that she was impaired at the time of the crash.
Both the Liberty Township Volunteer and South Haven fire departments
responded to scene. The accident is being investigated by a PCSP crash
reconstructionist with assistance from the Indiana State Police.
Ind. 149 was closed in both directions for three hours.