Two killed in Portage accident; one car was fleeing police
BY JOHN ROBBINS Post-Tribune correspondent October 30, 2013 2:56PM
Updated: December 2, 2013 12:12PM
Two Portage residents were killed in a fiery early morning car crash Wednesday on Willowcreek Road just north of U.S. Highway 6 in Portage.
One of the cars in the crash had was fleeing police at the time of the collision.
Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris identified Simon Moffat, 40, as the driver of the vehicle fleeing Portage police. Moffat was killed when his vehicle collided with the second vehicle, Harris said.
Also killed was Karina Gonzalez, 33, a passenger in the car struck by Moffat. The driver of that vehicle, who has not been identified, was airlifted to a hospital in South Bend.
Moffat and Gonzalez were declared dead at the scene of the crash at 3:21 a.m., Harris said.
The chain of events had started at 2:54 a.m., said Portage Police Chief Troy Williams.
That’s when a Portage police officer saw a gray Nissan Altima leave a restaurant on U.S 6 in Portage at a high rate of speed, Williams said.
A restaurant employee reported to the officer that the driver was possibly intoxicated, according to Williams.
The Nissan, driven by Moffat, stopped for a red traffic signal on U.S. 6 at the intersection with Willowcreek Road. The pursuing officer caught up to the Nissan and, when the signal turned green, Williams said, the officer turned on his roof lights and siren in an attempt to get the Nissan to stop. Instead, Williams said, Moffat accelerated away from the officer. Williams would not provide the officer’s name.
The fleeing vehicle swerved into the southbound lane of Willowcreek Road and struck a black Chevrolet Malibu, in which Gonzalez was a passenger.
A fire in the engine compartment of the Nissan was extinguished by responding officers.
Willowcreek Road was closed for several hours while the investigation was conducted and debris was cleared.