Woman’s 34th birthday celebration ends in crash on I-80/94
Post-Tribune staff report October 27, 2012 10:53AM
A 34-year-old Hammond, Ind. woman -- who police say had a blood-alcohol level 2 1/2 times over the legal limit -- ended her 34th birthday celebration early Saturday by totaling her car when she rear-ended a semi on I-80 outside of Gary. The woman, who had to be extricated from the car, was charged with three traffic violations, including DUI and driving on a suspended license, Indiana State Police said. | Indiana State Police photo
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:49AM
A Hammond woman out celebrating her birthday early Saturday morning rear-ended a tractor-trailer on Interstate 80/94 and had to be extricated from her vehicle, according to Indiana State Police.
Natasha M. Garza, 34, whose blood-alcohol level tested 21/2 times the legal limit, slammed her 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt into the back of a 2010 Mack semi puling a trailer at about 2:40 a.m. in the westbound lanes of I-80 at the 11.5 mile marker about 11/2 miles west of Central Avenue, according to Sgt. Ann Wojas, public information officer.
The driver of the semi, Ron G. Palafox, 53, of Romeoville, Ill., did not know his trailer had been hit at first. He drove more than a mile with the Cobalt wedged partially underneath the box trailer before stopping on the outer shoulder, Wojas said.
The Gary Fire Department extricated Garza from her vehicle and she was transported to The Methodist Hospitals in Gary with arm and ankle injuries. The injuries are not life threatening.
Garza’s blood alcohol level tested at .21 percent. She was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and following too closely. Her vehicle was a total loss.
Palafox was hauling 42,000 pounds of ice. There was no load loss. He was cited for a logbook violation and load securement. He was not injured, Wojas said.