GRIFFITH | A Merrillville woman was legally drunk when her car rear-ended another vehicle and then fled the scene Thursday, police said.
Griffith police said Gabriela McCarter, 31, of Merrillville, was driving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo that rear-ended a parked Toyota Avalon about 4:30 a.m. Thursday, pushing the Avalon 25 feet.
Patricia Kramer, 47, of Hammond, was in the Avalon when it was struck, suffering a head injury, police said. Kramer's vehicle was stopped, with its hazard lights on, while the victim was delivering newspapers in the 1000 block of East Glen Park Avenue, police said.
She was taken to Community Hospital for treatment. A police report states Kramer's injuries were “non-incapacitating,” and she was able to talk with officers.
Kramer’s husband, Terrence, was returning to the couple’s car after delivering papers to homes along that street and witnessed the crash.
Terrence Kramer told police the Monte Carlo’s driver “asked if she could pay for everything,” then backed her car up and fled the scene, heading east on East Glen Park Avenue and then south on Colfax.
Griffith police officers said they found debris scattered behind the Avalon and noticeable gouge marks on the pavement that would indicate the impact point.
Another witness to the accident followed the Monte Carlo to Merrillville, police said.
A police report states the witness observed McCarter park the car behind an apartment building in the 7300 block of Whitcomb.
Griffith police found McCarter in her apartment and noted she had bloodshot, watery eyes, according to the report. Chemical tests revealed she had a blood alcohol concentration of .128, more than Indiana's legal driving limit of .08.
McCarter was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired and a hit-and-run traffic accident with personal injury, police said.