Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Portage PD: Two dead after man flees traffic stop and crashes

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A driver who Portage Police said was fleeing a traffic stop early Wednesday morning crashed head on into an oncoming vehicle on Willowcreek Road, in an accident which killed both himself and a passenger in the other car.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris identified the deceased driver as Simon Moffat, 40, of Portage; and the deceased passenger in the other vehicle as Karina Gonzalez, 33, also of Portage.

According to police, at 2:54 a.m. an officer observed a gray Nissan Altima--later discovered to be driven by Moffat--exit the drive-through at the McDonald’s on U.S. Highway 6 at a high rate of speed. The officer was then informed by a McDonald’s employee that the Nissan’s driver “was acting strange, possibly intoxicated,” prompting the officer to follow the Nissan, which by this time was northbound on Willowcreek Road from Veterans Ave., police said.

The officer followed the Nissan through a green light at the intersection of Willowcreek Road and U.S. 6 and tried to perform a traffic stop, police said, but the Nissan’s driver ignored the activated emergency lights and siren and instead continued northbound on Willowcreek Road and past Marbella Ave.

The Nissan’s driver then “suddenly swerved” left of the center line, crossed both southbound lanes of traffic, hit the raised curb, and straightened, only to drive “directly into an oncoming vehicle,” a Chevrolet Malibu whose passenger was Gonzalez.

Police called the crash “violent” and said that a fire started in the Nissan’s engine compartment.

Both Moffat and Gonzalez were pronounced dead at the scene and Harris told the Chesterton Tribune today that Gonzalez died of multiple blunt force trauma. An autopsy on Moffat was scheduled for this morning.

The male driver of the Malibu was airlifted to a South Bend hospital, police said.

Willowcreek Road was closed for several hours following the crash.

“We do not know at this time why the driver of the Nissan failed to initially stop and are saddened by the outcome of this encounter,” Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said. “The investigation continues.”

 

Posted 10/31/2013