Hit-run crash leads to OWI arrest

Amy Moore

La PORTE – A Trail Creek woman was arrested and two other people injured in a hit-and-run crash Saturday night in La Porte, according to police.

Amy R. Moore, 42, is facing a felony count of operating while intoxicated with a prior conviction; and misdemeanor counts of OWI with endangerment and OWI with a blood alcohol content over .15 percent, according to court records.

La Porte County Sheriff's deputies were called at 11:31 p.m. Saturday to the area near Johnson Road and U.S. 35 for a report of a hit-and-run crash, according to a police report. Dispatchers said they received multiple calls about the crash, and one witness was able to get a vehicle description and license number.

They were able to trace the car to Moore, and a Trail Creek Police officer en route to the scene spotted the white Hyundai Sonata, with heavy front end damage, northbound on Johnson Road, the report said. A county deputy later arrived at the scene and was told the driver showed signs of intoxication, including the odor of an alcoholic beverage from inside of the vehicle, slurred speech, poor manual dexterity, and blood shot, watery eyes.

The deputy noted both front air bags had deployed and a fluid was dripping from underneath the hood/engine compartment area. The driver, Moore, had redness in the neck area (likely from the seat belt) and redness on her right forearm area (likely from the airbag), the report said.

Asked how the damage to the vehicle occurred and how the airbags deployed, Moore said she didn't know, the report said. The front-seat passenger, a 39-year-old Michigan City man, also denied knowledge of what happened, telling the deputy Moore had just picked him up.

Moore said she was returning from a company holiday party and denied being in the crash, the report said. However, the passenger, when questioned further, admitted being Moore's date to the party, and said as they were turning onto Johnson Road, Moore's car struck another vehicle, and after she initially stopped, she continued going, the report said.

Moore said she had about four mixed drinks at the party, but again denied knowing how the car was damaged, the report said. Asked to submit to field sobriety tests, she told the deputy that "last time this happened I just refused everything." A computer check showed a previous OWI conviction in 2015 in La Porte County.

After failing the first two tests, and having trouble with the third, however, Moore told the deputy "I can't do it anymore" and "just take me now," the report said. She was arrested and taken to La Porte Hospital for medical clearance, where a blood test showed her BAC at .240, three times the legal limit, the report said.

Back at the crash scene, another deputy reported that the driver of the vehicle that was struck – a 25-year-old South Bend woman – complained of pain to her neck and hip area; and the front seat passenger – a 25-year-old La Porte woman – complained of pain to her neck. Both refused treatment and said they would go to Franciscan Health on their own.

Moore was initially charged with the three counts of OWI and a misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. She was taken to the La Porte County Jail, and was scheduled to appear Wednesday in La Porte Circuit Court.

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