The Michigan City Police received a report of a one car automobile accident that occurred at the intersection of Greenwood and Woodland Ave. on Friday just before 1pm. Additional information indicated that this was a personal injury single car accident with the vehicle on fire.
First to arrive at the scene was Chief Mark Swistek and Day shift supervisor Corporal Jeff Piotrowski. As they were arriving to the vicinity of the accident, smoke and flames could be observed coming from the scene. Upon arrival they immediately observed a Chevy Trailblazer with a large tree limb across the front compartment of the vehicle engulfed in flames.
Immediately, Chief Swistek and Corporal Piotrowski approached the vehicle and observed a young female driver pinned inside the burning vehicle with severe injury. They both went into action additionally assisted by Patrolman Kyle Shiparski, and began to remove portions of the burning limb from the immediate area. With the help of nearby citizens, they were able to get the smaller portions of the limb removed from the driver’s compartment as fire extinguishers were used to help control the blaze. The Michigan City Fire department arrived and with the use of the “Jaws of Life” were able to free the female driver from the vehicle as they were also able to extinguish the fire. Emergency Medical Services was on scene to give immediate care and transport the victim to Franciscan hospital where she is listed in critical condition. Arrangements are being made to fly her to a nearby trauma center. It was initially determined that the large tree limb that originated on private property, had broken off at the moment the victim’s car, a Chevy Trailblazer, approached the intersection. Traffic Commander Lt. Jeff Loniewski oversees the remainder of the investigation. Called to the scene for assistance was City Arborist along with the assistance of Central Services. The roadway was completely closed and remained closed throughout the evening. A certified tree company was called by the owner of the private property where the tree was located to have it completely removed. Chief Mark Swistek would like to publicly thank the concerned citizens who rendered assistance along with the Fire, EMS, Central Services, and the City Arborist for all their assistance in this unfortunate occurrence.