A 15-year-old girl
died in a single-vehicle accident on Saturday on U.S. Highway 12 in Porter.
Coroner Cyndi Dykes has identified the victim as Cher’lin Hollowell. Dykes
did not specify her place of residence but Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig
believes all four occupants of the vehicle, ranging in age from 17 to 15,
lived in the Portage area.
According to a
report released this morning by Porter Police, at 5:34 p.m. the driver of
the vehicle, a Kia four-door, was westbound on U.S. 12, just west of Mineral
Springs Road. “The driver, a juvenile, indicated that she was passing
vehicles and lost control after hitting a wet spot in the road,” the PPD
said. “The driver indicated that she was following friends in a vehicle
A witness advised
investigators that the Kia was traveling at a high rate of speed when the
driver lost control, that the Kia then hit a guardrail on the north side,
re-entered the westbound lanes, crossed the center line, and left the
roadway to the south, where it hit a tree head on.
Dykes said that
Cher’lin Hollowell--one of two backseat passengers and believed not to have
been wearing a seatbelt--was pronounced dead at the scene.
performed minor extrication to remove both backseat passengers from the Kia,
the other of whom was transported to the parking lot of Shelton Fireworks on
U.S. Highway 20, where she was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend,
The driver of the
Kia was transported to Porter Regional Hospital and subsequently airlifted
to an unspecified hospital, Craig said, while the front-seat passenger was
transported to Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary, after no other
helicopter was available to medivac her.
Assisting the PFD
and PPD at the scene were Porter EMS and Burns Harbor EMS, Craig said. The
landing zone at Shelton Fireworks was prepared by the Burns Harbor and
Washington Township Volunteer FDs.
Craig noted that
U.S. 12 had to be closed in both directions, resulting in a certain amount
of congestion which made it briefly difficult to get one of the responding
ambulances back on the road.
The PFD cleared the
scene at around 9:30 p.m.