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Indiana State Trooper credited with saving choking woman

The woman was eating tacos while driving when she began to choke, state police said.

A man died in a crash Feb. 19, 2021, in northwest Indiana.
An Indiana State trooper saved a choking woman on Sept. 24, 2019.
Indiana State Police Facebook photo

A state trooper is being credited for saving a woman’s life after she began choking Tuesday while stopped at a traffic light in northwest Indiana.

Sergeant Dan Avitia was on duty Tuesday afternoon when he heard honking and noticed an SUV stopped in a left turn lane after the light had turned green at US 30, Indiana State police said in a statement.

Avitia noticed that the SUV remained stopped, even as other drivers kept honking and making unkind gestures to the stopped driver, state police said. The sergeant noticed the SUV’s driver had her hands around her neck, and he sped over with his emergency lights activiated.

Avita opened the SUV’s door, confirmed the 41-year-old Crown Point woman was choking, and then struck her back, state police said. This caused the woman to throw up and continue breathing.

The woman had been eating tacos while driving when she began to choke, state police said.

Paramedics arrived and evaluated the woman, who was eventually able to drive away on her own, state police said.