On Friday July 23rd 2021 at 7:43 am the Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach Fire Department and LaPorte County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched to the intersection of Chastleton Drive and Lakeshore Drive reference a personal injury accident. Within one minute of the
dispatched call Long Beach Deputy Marshal Tobin Babcock and Chief Marshal Mark Swistek arrived on scene. They were advised by witnesses that a female operating a 2016 Mazda CX5 SUV drove off Lakeshore Drive into Lake Michigan. First responders discovered the vehicle was partially submerged in Lake Michigan and was drifting further into the Lake. Chief Mark Swistek and Deputy Babcock entered the water and made their way to the vehicle. The 33-year-old female driver was conscious and uncooperative with both officers while refusing to unlock the vehicle. As the vehicle continued to drift into deeper water Chief Swistek was able to break out the passenger side window while Deputy Babcock was at the driver’s door speaking with the female. As the officers were attempting to open the door to rescue the female she was yelling “let me go” and was struggling with the officers while they were attempting to pull her from the water filled vehicle. Both officers eventually freed her from the vehicle as she continued to forcibly resist. The female driver was then released to the Long Beach Fire Department first responders and EMS personnel for medical treatment. During the water rescue Deputy Babcock sustained an unfortunate injury to his left knee which required medical treatment.
After the rescue the Long Beach Police Department was advised by the LaPorte County E911 dispatch center that an “attempt to locate” was sent out by the Porter County Sheriff’s Department concerning a suicidal female driving a white Mazda CX5 who abandoned her ten-year-old daughter
earlier in the morning along the roadside in Porter County. Prior to leaving her daughter in Porter County she made remarks of “going to heaven”. It was later confirmed that this was the same individual who drove into Lake Michigan from Lakeshore Drive at stop 22. The female is currently
being held for observation at Franciscan Hospital in Michigan City.
The Long Beach Police and Fire Departments were assisted by Deputy Nick Korepanow with the Trail Creek Police Department, Long Beach Water Department, Long Beach Street Department and LaPorte County EMS. We would also like to take the opportunity to “THANK” Woodruff’s and Sons
along with Cloverleaf Garage personnel for the recovery of the vehicle from Lake Michigan. Heavy machinery was needed to drag the vehicle to shore and eventually off the beach this morning.