Woman charged with DUI for fatal motorcycle crash in Valparaiso

SHARE Woman charged with DUI for fatal motorcycle crash in Valparaiso

Rachel Dover | Porter County sheriff’s office

A Tennessee woman has been charged with DUI after her car crashed head-on into a motorcycle late Saturday, leaving a woman dead and a man injured in northwest Indiana.

Nanette Howard, 55, was a passenger on the 1990 maroon Harley Sportster motorcycle about 7:50 p.m., traveling west on U.S. Highway 6 approaching County Road 550 East in Valparaiso, when the bike was struck head-on by a 2005 blue Chevrolet Cobalt, according to a statement from the Porter County sheriff’s office.

Police said the Cobalt pulled out in front of the motorcycle while turning onto eastbound Highway 6 from southbound County Road 550 East.

Howard, who lived in the 600 block of 1325 North in Michigan City, suffered head and leg injuries in the crash and was airlifted to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she was pronounced dead at 11:26 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy Sunday ruled her death an accident.

The man driving the motorcycle, a 68-year-old man from Chesterton, Indiana, suffered head and foot injuries in the crash and was taken to Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso, police said. He was later transferred to Northlake Methodist Hospital in Gary.

Neither Howard nor the driver of the motorcycle were wearing helmets, police said. Porter County Accident Reconstruction was called to the scene and closed the road for about three hours to investigate the crash.

The woman driving the Cobalt, 24-year-old Rachel Dover, of Clarksville, Tennessee, was charged with operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, a Level 6 felony, police said. She also faces misdemeanor charges of operating while intoxicated and citations of failure to yield to right of way and refusal to submit to a certified chemical test.

Additional charges are pending with the prosecutor’s office for operating while intoxicated causing death, a Level 5 felony, police said.

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