A trooper and two other people were hit this morning while standing outside their vehicles.
Preliminary investigation showed at approximately 4:40 a.m., this Wednesday, March 7, 2018, morning, Trooper Nicole Maenza, 24, a 1 ½ year veteran of the Indiana State Police, was on the south bound Cline Avenue to I-80/94 east bound ramp investigating crashes.
The ramp was snow covered and slick from earlier weather conditions. While Maenza was investigating one of the crashes she saw a Ford Expedition crash further down the ramp into the sound barrier wall and went to see if the occupants were okay.
Both occupants, later identified as Jorge Carrillo-Padilla, 41 of Chicago, Illinois and his brother Ernesto Carrillo-Padilla, 37 of Chicago, Illinois got out of the Expedition.
As Maenza was telling them to go back inside their car a 2015 Hyundai Sonata lost control and hit all three of them.
The Sonata was driven by a 27 year-old female from Griffith, who stated that a car in front of her began slowing down/braking when she had to hit her brakes and to avoid hitting the rear of that car swerved to the right, lost control and hit a light pole. She then heard people yelling and later realized she had hit the three listed above.
Maenza, Jorge and Ernesto Carillo-Padilla were all taken to a local hospital. Maenza and Jorge Carillo-Padilla are being admitted for their injuries which are non-life threatening.
Assisting: Master Trooper Lawrence McFarrin, Senior Trooper Nedal Nabhan, Troopers William Carlson and James Brasseur.
Indiana State Police would like to remind everyone the safest place to be after a crash is anywhere but on or near traffic lanes on the interstate. Stay inside your vehicle! It offers the most protection.
All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.