Valpo woman in wheelchair falls into construction ditch
By Erin Guerra Post-Tribune correspondent April 1, 2013 12:32PM
Updated: April 1, 2013 8:51PM
VALPARAISO — A 65-year-old woman in a wheelchair fell into a 6-foot-deep construction ditch Saturday on the west side of Soft Touch Car Wash.
Grace Wilson, of Valparaiso, was put on a backboard to be lifted out of the hole and transported to Porter Regional Hospital. It is unknown how long she had been lying in the ditch.
Around 12:45 p.m., a 63-year-old Valparaiso man walking on the sidewalk in the 1300 block of Vale Park Road said he glanced into the construction ditch and saw what he first thought was a large toy car. He then noticed movement and realized it was an upside-down wheelchair with someone under it. The witness found a Soft Touch employee to call 911.
The employee held Wilson’s hand and tried to keep the wheelchair’s weight off her while waiting for help, later telling police she was stuck between two parallel pipes and he feared moving her would aggravate any injuries. She was moaning but not speaking.
According to the police report and tracks in the soft dirt along the ditch, it appeared Wilson had fallen into the hole while traveling along the Vale Park Road sidewalk.
Police initially were not able to reach anyone at the address listed on the woman’s state identification card.
By the afternoon, hospital staff told police Wilson did not remember her fall but knew who she was, and she told staff how to reach her family. She was kept in the hospital for 24 hours, but her only injuries appeared to be bruises and scratches to most of her body, according to the police report.
Wilson’s worsening eyesight may have contributed to the accident.