Two people were killed early Sunday morning when the vehicle they were
riding in on U.S. Highway 12 in Westchester Township crashed into a tree and
then erupted into flames.
The victims, a male and a female who “suffered severe burn injuries,” have
not yet been identified, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris told the
Chesterton Tribune today. An attempt is being made to identify them
through dental x-rays, he said. Harris did say that the vehicle had an
Indiana license plate.
According to the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, shortly after midnight the
victims were westbound on U.S. 12 when, east of Furnessville Road, their
2013 Chevrolet Equinox left the roadway to the north for unknown reasons and
struck a tree. A passerby subsequently observed the vehicle fully engulfed
in flames and contacted 911.
“The cause of the crash is still under investigation,” Harris said. “The
vehicle did not appear to have applied braking before collision.”
Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig told the Tribune that a Porter Police
officer was first on the scene and was able to confirm that one person was
still in the vehicle. The PFD arrived soon after, at 12:20 a.m., and it
wasn’t until fire suppression operations had begun that a firefighter
reported a second person in the vehicle.
It took about 10 minutes and 750 gallons of water from its engine for the
PFD to extinguish the blaze, Craig said. The victims were pronounced dead at
the scene by the Coroner’s Office and, following a crash reconstruction by
the PCSP, firefighters extricated them from their vehicle. The PFD cleared
the scene at 4:30 a.m.
“It was some of the worst car damage I’ve seen in a very long time,” Craig