An observant trooper saved a Crown Point woman’s life who was choking while sitting in her car at a traffic light.
Yesterday afternoon in Merrillville, Sergeant Dan Avitia was on duty in his marked police car on south bound Broadway at US 30.  Avitia was stopped at the red light in the turn lane to go east onto US 30 when he heard cars honking to the left of him. As Avitia looked to see what was happening he noticed that a gray Ford SUV had been stopped at the red light in the turn lane to go west onto US 30 when the light had turned green.  The SUV stayed stopped and the cars behind had begun honking their horns, cursing at the driver and making “not very nice gestures” to the driver of the SUV. Avitia noticed the female driver of the SUV had her hands at her neck. 
Avitia activated his emergency lights on his police car and ran to the driver, who was later identified as a 41 year-old female from Crown Point.  When he opened her car door he knew she was choking and struck her back hard a couple of times, this caused the female to throw up and begin breathing.  It was later found that she had been eating tacos while driving and began to choke. An ambulance was called and the female was checked out. She was eventually able to drive away on her own.  Merrillville Police also responded to the scene.