Police: Driver with bald tires crashes into snowplow

2014-01-30T17:22:00Z 2014-01-30T20:18:38Z Police: Driver with bald tires crashes into snowplowStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 30, 2014 5:22 pm  • 

A Chesterton woman was ticketed after she slid into an oncoming LaPorte County Highway Department snowplow on completely bald tires.

Jennifer Harris, 39, and all three of her passengers wound up in a hospital as a result of the accident.

LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said Thursday officers writing tickets for bald tires happens just occasionally and only when they feel a fine is absolutely necessary.

He'd rather see people apply whatever financial resources they have not on fines, but for new tires.

It's unfortunate especially for someone with little money but, “you have to send a message that that type of thing won't be tolerated,” said Mollenhauer.

According to police, Harris was on snow-covered 150 North near 500 West early Tuesday afternoon and while negotiating a curve slid across the middle of the road.

She drove into the plow of an oncoming 2005 Mack truck, police said.

Harris complained of pain. She and her three passengers were all transported to IU Health LaPorte Hospital.

No further information about her injuries or the condition of others in the car were disclosed.

According to police, all four of her tires were completely bare of tread. Under Indiana law, it's a Class C infractions for tires not to have at least 3/32 of an inch of tread.

Even that isn't much, but driving without any tread whatsoever especially on snow- and ice-covered roads is unimaginable, said Mollenhauer.

“I'm sure that's why the officer took that type of action,” said Mollenhauer.

Harris now faces a potential fine of up to $500, according to Indiana code.

The driver of the truck, Anthony Vega, 56, was not injured.

Police said the plow itself did not sustain damage but some of the mechanical parts to it possibly were damaged.

LaPorte city police on Tuesday ticketed a man for driving on a flat tire.

Nathan Babcock on Tuesday was allegedly fishtailing nearly striking other vehicles on Lincolnway on a back tire about to fall off the rim, police said.

Police said the LaPorte man also was driving fast enough that the officer had trouble catching up to him before his pickup truck pulled into the parking lot of an auto parts store.

Babcock also was arrested on a charge of driving on a suspended license.

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