On November 20th at 4:32 PM, deputies were summoned to US 20 and CR 200 East, rural Kankakee Township, reference a personal injury motor vehicle crash.  

The crash investigation conducted by Deputy Evan Doperalski determined the following had occurred.  A silver 2004 Ford, driven by Arthur C. MCNEELEY (61 YOA) of Mishawaka, was traveling east on US 20 in the passing (inside) lane.  A silver 2015 Cadillac, driven by Debra J. BIRKHOLZ (69 YOA) of LaPorte, was stopped in the passing lane facing east, yielding to westbound US 20 traffic to eventually execute a left turn to travel north onto CR 200 East.  MCNEELEY attempted to avoid the vehicle  operated by BIRKHOLZ.  However, the front passenger corner of MCNEELEY’S truck collided with the rear driver’s side of BIRKHOLZ’S vehicle.  

As this was occurring, MCNEELEY’S truck began to drive left of center and into the westbound lanes of US 20.  MCNEELEY’S truck traveled across the westbound passing lane, proceeded into the westbound driving lane and collided with an orange 2016 Nissan, driven by Brian E. KLINGERMAN (62 YOA) of Bremen.  The front driver’s corner of MCNEELEY’S truck struck the front driver’s side of the vehicle operated by KLINGERMAN.  

A silver 2013 Toyota, driven by Kristina WU (53 YOA) of La Porte, was traveling west on US 20 in the driving lane behind KLINGERMAN.  Following the collision between MCNEELEY’S truck and KLINGERMAN’S vehicle, the front passenger side of WU’S vehicle collided with the rear driver’s side KLINGERMAN’S vehicle.

MCNEELEY was pinned inside his truck and required extrication.  He sustained a lower body injury and was transported by ground to a regional hospital for treatment.  Toxicology test results are pending.

KLINGERMAN was pinned inside of his vehicle and required extrication.  He sustained an upper body injury and was transported by ground to a regional hospital for treatment.  A front seat passenger of KLINGERMAN, Joyce M. KLINGERMAN (65 YOA), was also pinned inside the vehicle and required extrication.  She sustained an upper body injury and was transported to a regional hospital for treatment.  A rear seat passenger of KLINGERMAN, Jessica L. KLINGERMAN (33 YOA), sustained an upper body injury and was transported by ground to a regional hospital for treatment.  

Several hours later, Deputy Doperalski learned that Brian KLINGERMAN had died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.  Toxicology test results are pending.

At 4:57 PM, while deputies were investigating the above crash, they were summoned to US 20 and CR 300 East for another crash.  

The crash investigation conducted by Deputy Micah Hatley determined the following had occurred.  A blue 2005 Mazda, driven by Hailey Joy B. DEL VALLE (19 YOA) of East Chicago, was traveling north on CR 300 East.  DEL VALLE failed to stop at the stop sign on CR 300 East at US 20.  DEL VALLE’S vehicle drove across the eastbound lanes of US 20, into the westbound lanes and collided with a black 2016 Ford, driven by MINH N. NGUYEN (58 YOA) of Pattonville, Texas, in the driving lane.

The front of DEL VALLE’S vehicle impacted the driver’s side of NGUYEN’S truck.  NGUYEN’S truck was pulling a 2020 Sprinter recreational vehicle (RV).  The crash caused NGUYEN’S truck and the RV to jackknife.  

DEL VALLE will be issued the following traffic citations:

  • Disregarding a Stop Sign
  • Learner’s Permit Violation
  • False and Fictitious Registration
  • Failure To Register 
  • No Vehicle Insurance 

US 20 was closed in both directions for approximately 2.5 hours for the crash investigations and for the removal of the involved vehicles.  

Captain Derek J. Allen states, “As traffic volume increases during the upcoming holiday season, motorists are reminded and encouraged to utilize defensive driving techniques to keep themselves, their passengers and other motorists safe.”  “In addition, drivers should limit the amount of distractions within their vehicle to ensure their full attention is given to the safe operation of their motor vehicle,” added Captain Allen.  

Assisting: Captain Brian Piergalski, Deputies Andy Morse, Derrick Deck, David Grimberg, Michigan City Police Officer Mike Oberle, La Porte County EMS, Kankakee and Springfield Township Volunteer Fire Departments, St. Joseph County Coroner’s Office, Ace Towing, Quick’s Towing, Stan’s Towing, Action Towing and Barnes Towing.