One dead, one injured in I-65 crash

2011-07-26T15:00:00Z 2011-07-27T08:10:10Z One dead, one injured in I-65 crashBy Jeff Burton jeff.burton@nwi.com, (219) 548-4354 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | A Crown Point man was killed Monday in a high-speed crash on Interstate 65, just north of the U.S. 30 exit.

According to Indiana State Police reports, shortly before 7 p.m. Monday, witnesses said a speeding Chevrolet Cobalt was heading northbound on I-65, near mile marker 253, when it left the roadway, hitting a light pole on the right shoulder. Witnesses said the car went airborne, spun in the air and rolled into a neighboring cornfield.

Police said the driver, Nicholas Stockman, 21, and his passenger, Desmond Ramos, 19, both of Crown Point, were ejected from the vehicle.

Police said Ramos was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Lake County coroner's office, he suffered blunt force trauma.

Stockman was taken to Hobart's Saint Mary Medical Center for a broken pelvis and numerous cuts throughout his body.

At the scene, Stockman told officers a third person was in the car. Officers searched on the ground and in a Lake County Sheriff's Department helicopter, using Flir Thermal Imaging technology, but no one else was located. Crown Point Police later determined the person Stockman identified as also having been in the car, was not involved in the crash.

Police said open alcohol containers were found in Stockman's car and he tested positive for alcohol while at the hospital. Possible charges are pending, police said.

ISP Senior Trooper Dan Avitia, who was the first responder to the crash, said neither Stockman nor Ramos were wearing seat belts.

"Seat belts would have kept the driver and passenger inside the vehicle," Avita said. "Evidence that seat belts prevent and lessen injuries and death is overwhelming enough that no one should ever ride in a car without (wearing) one."

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