On Tuesday November 8th, 2022 at approximately 5:45 PM officers of the Portage Police Department were dispatched to the intersection of Willowcreek Road and Lute Road in reference to a motor vehicle crash with injuries.
Upon arrival, it was determined that a total of six vehicles were involved in the collision. Officers determined that one patient was deceased, a second was alive but unconscious and trapped in their vehicle, and a third sustained minor head injuries. The other involved drivers and passengers made complaints of pain but did not request transport to a medical facility for treatment. The driver with the head injury was transported via ambulance to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to recover.
The initial investigation shows that a gray 2016 Cadillac SUV was traveling southbound on Willowcreek Road at an extreme rate of speed when it struck the rear end of a white GMC sport utility vehicle that was stopped two cars back from the red light at Lute Road. The Cadillac struck the GMC with such force that the GMC was shoved into the rear of a third vehicle and all three vehicles continued completely through the intersection and came to rest on the south side of Lute Road. In the aftermath of this initial collision three other vehicles that were traveling on Lute Road or northbound Willowcreek were struck in secondary collisions with the first three vehicles. One of these involved vehicles flipped onto its roof and another vehicle came to rest on top of the Cadillac.
The driver of the Cadillac was successfully extricated and taken via medical helicopter for treatment of serious head and internal injuries at a regional trauma center. He has been identified as a forty-two-year-old Portage man. The cause or reason for the vehicle’s excessive speed remains under investigation. The deceased, who was the driver of the white GMC, has been identified as Lauren Thompson, 24, of Valparaiso.
This crash resulted in all lanes of travel being shut down for approximately five hours while the Portage Police Department Crash Reconstruction Team conducted their on-scene investigation. This is a preliminary summary of events and may change based upon newly discovered details during the course of this ongoing investigation.
Police thanked the Portage Fire Department, Lutheran Air medical services, Precision Towing, Porter County Central Communications Center (911), and Porter County Coroner’s Office for their assistance with this incident.