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Argument blamed in crash that left Hammond man, 21, dead

A Hammond man was killed Hammond woman injured Saturday Oct. 19 2013 Interstate 80-94 Hammond after car they were was

A Hammond man was killed and a Hammond woman injured Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, on Interstate 80-94 in Hammond after the car they were in was struck by a charter bus holding the University of St. Francis, Fort Wayne, football team. | Indiana State Police

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Updated: October 21, 2013 4:09AM



HAMMOND — A Hammond man is dead and another person is injured after an argument in a car led to the vehicle being struck head-on by a football team bus Saturday on Interstate 80-94.

Joshua Walberg, 21, of Hammond, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, in the eastbound lanes of the interstate just east of Indianapolis Boulevard, according to a press release from the Indiana State Police.

Walberg was a passenger in a 1996 Toyota Tercel driven by Shawnna Popenhagen, 21, of Hammond. The car was in the right lane at about 8:40 p.m. Saturday when, according to police, Walberg grabbed the steering wheel during an argument. Popenhagen overcorrected the Toyota to the left, police said, and the Tercel spun around into the right center lane until it was almost perpendicular to an oncoming charter bus. The bus was unable to avoid the Tercel.

The bus held 39 people and included players, coaches and cheerleaders from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, police said. They were coming home from a game in Joliet, Ill. No one on the bus was injured.

Popenhagen was taken to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill., with incapacitating injuries. She was wearing a seat belt. Walberg, police said, was not wearing a seat belt. A Lake County deputy coroner determined he died of blunt force trauma, according to the state police press release.

The right three lanes and the exit lane were closed for reconstruction of the crash, removal of the injured and deceased, towing of the vehicles and cleanup of the road. The far left lane remained open.

Another charter bus arrived and took the passengers back to Fort Wayne.



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