LAPORTE | A Michigan City woman remained hospitalized Friday with serious injuries after a car she was driving Thursday was struck by a garbage truck. Her husband and their dog were killed in the accident.
Barbara Riggs, 68, was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend following the crash.
David Riggs, 70, of 409 Dewey St., was pronounced dead at the scene of massive multisystem trauma.
LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan said Barbara Riggs is expected to recover from the Thursday afternoon crash that closed Johnson Road, a main artery between Michigan City and LaPorte, for about four hours.
"It could have easily been a double fatal," Sullivan said.
According to LaPorte County police, David Riggs was a front-seat passenger in a Chevrolet Impala driven by his wife, who, for unknown reasons, failed to stop at stop sign at County Road 300 North and Johnson Road west of LaPorte.
The passenger side of her car was struck by the garbage truck occupied by three employees of the Michigan City Sanitary District. The driver of the truck did not have enough time to avoid impact.
"He said it all took three or five seconds to happen and it was all over. There wasn't really anything he could do," Sullivan said, adding the couple had on their seat belts.
James Kintzele, superintendent of the Sanitary District's Refuse Department, said the truck was returning after unloading trash at a transfer station in Kingsbury. Two of the men were back to work Friday, while the third employee still was waiting for a doctor's clearance.
"They got some bruising and so forth," Kintzele said.
Sullivan said a golden retriever belonging to the couple also died in the crash.
Ott-Haverstock Funeral Chapel in Michigan City is handling arrangements, which still were pending Friday.