An Indiana State Trooper saved a 31-year-old Merrillville woman’s life after finding her passed out and unresponsive in a vehicle on the side of the road.

In trying to revive her, he found drugs on her person. 

Yesterday, Saturday, July 27th, 2019, at approximately 4:05 p.m., Trooper Regen Smith was dispatched to a possible property damage crash on I-80/94 westbound near Indianapolis Boulevard. 

Trooper Smith saw a silver Volkswagen (VW) Beetle on the left shoulder up against the concrete median barrier wall.  As Smith approached the VW on the passenger side she could see that the sole occupant a female appeared to be unconscious in the driver’s seat. 

Trooper Smith knocked repeatedly in an attempt to rouse the female but was unsuccessful.  Due to all the VW doors being locked Smith had to break the passenger window to gain entry.  Once inside the VW Trooper Smith was unable to rouse the driver and noticed the female wasn’t breathing. 

Smith used life-saving measures at this time.  Shortly thereafter, Hammond Fire and EMS arrived and they too proceeded with life saving measures. 

The driver, later identified as Kelley Cooper, 31 of Merrillville, regained consciousness. 

Cooper was taken to Munster Community Hospital in Munster.  Trooper Smith as she attempted to find identification on the driver located two small bags in Cooper’s wallet containing suspected heroin and paraphernalia. 

Cooper was found to be wearing a home detention monitor due to her probation status.

Cooper was taken to Lake County Jail in Crown Point after being released from the hospital and was charged with:

  • Operating While Intoxicated Endangerment-Class A Misdemeanor
  • Operating a Vehicle with a Controlled Substance in Blood-Class C Misdemeanor
  • Possession of Paraphernalia-Class C Misdemeanor\
  • Possession of a Narcotic Drug-Level 6 Felony

Assisting: Trooper Alissa Partyka, Hammond Fire and EMS and Bennie’s Towing

All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.