A Hebron man was severely burned on Tuesday after crashing his minivan into
the home of his estranged wife while she was reporting an earlier domestic
battery, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.
John Wall, 48, whom police identified as a Hobart firefighter, was
transported to a Chicago area hospital for treatment of burns.
According to police, at 7 a.m. Wall’s estranged wife reported that Wall had
gained entry to the residence overnight, had jumped on her while she was
asleep, and then battered and strangled her. Wall’s wife subsequently
convinced him to leave and on his doing so she reported the incident to the
Then, while two officers were inside the home--located in the 600 west block
of C.R. 650S--Wall drove through the yard on the east side of the property
and into the rear deck, police said. “The minivan immediately caught fire,
which in turn caught the residence on fire.”
The two officers confronted Wall outside, who stated “Just shoot me!” Wall
then jumped into the burning minivan and out of it again, exiting the
vehicle “engulfed in flames,” police said.
The officers succeeded in extinguishing the fire on Wall, who sustained
severe burns to his face and hands and was transported to St. Anthony’s
Hospital in Crown Point. He was later transferred to Loyola Medical Center
in Cook County, Ill.
One of the officers on the scene was transported to Porter Regional Hospital
and treated for smoke inhalation, police said. The other had minor burns to
his forearm. No one in the house at the time it was struck was injured.
The Hebron, Kouts, Boone Grove, Lakes of Four Seasons, and Lowell fire
departments responded to the scene.
The case remains under investigation by the PCSP, the Porter County Fire
Investigation Strike Team, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and AFT.