Valparaiso woman killed in Westville area accident

2012-07-19T13:30:00Z 2012-09-15T17:42:50Z Valparaiso woman killed in Westville area accidentBy Stan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 19, 2012 1:30 pm  • 

WESTVILLE | A Valparaiso woman was killed and the driver who hit her was critically injured in a head-on collision Thursday morning at a sharp curve near Westville, according to authorities.

Katherine Atkins, 26, died in the wreck which also left two children in her car with serious injuries.

"Whenever you've got kids involved it's emotional for all of us out there," LaPorte County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Jim Sosinski said.

Emergency responders were called about 7:30 a.m. to Joliet Road just west of Wozniak Road.

According to authorities, the investigation shows the Honda Accord driven by Atkins was eastbound in a sharp curve.

An oncoming SUV traveling at a high speed in the curve veered over the center line striking the front driver's side of the Atkins' car.

The SUV, driven by John Mikle of Michigan City, overturned and both vehicles came to rest in a field.

A helicopter was requested but did not come out due to the stormy weather, Sosinski said.

Mikle was transported to Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Michigan City in critical condition with undisclosed injuries.

Three children were in the backseat of the Atkins' vehicle.

Neilah Maule, 7, was undergoing surgery for brain swelling and bruising to the brain; Jaidyn Maule, 5, suffered a severely fractured leg while Audrey Spitler, 5, was not injured, Sosinski said.

Sosinski said two of the youths Atkins' boyfriend's children.

The other child was a niece to her boyfriend.

She was taking them to a grandparent's home in LaPorte at the time of the crash, he said. A witness told officers Mikle accelerated at a high speed from a stop sign at Joliet Road and Wozniak Road.

Sosinski said judging by the extent of the damage to both vehicles  Mikle was still traveling at excessive speeds at impact about three quarters of a mile west of the intersection.

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