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CROWN POINT — A woman allegedly had illicit substances in her system in March when she fatally struck a woman riding a mobility scooter in Merrillville.

Fatima A. Thomas was charged Friday in Lake Criminal Court with causing death while operating a motor vehicle with a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance in her blood, causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and driving while suspended, all level 5 felonies.

Elizabeth Camplan, 82, was driving a scooter about 8:40 a.m. March 26 north in the 9200 block of Broadway when she was struck by a white 2003 Ford Escape driven by Thomas, court records state.

Camplan was thrown in the air, and her scooter was found lodged under Thomas' vehicle, which also struck the back of a pickup truck.

Camplan was pronounced dead at Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus in Merrillville.

Thomas, 49, of Gary, was transported to the same hospital, where her blood was drawn and sent to the Indiana State Department of Toxicology. A test indicated Thomas had the following substances in her blood: alprazolam, benzoylecgonine (a cocaine metabolite), morphine, hydrocodone and THC (the active ingredient of marijuana).

Thomas was able to provide authorities prescriptions for the alprazolam and the opiates. She told authorities she was driving home from the courthouse when she hit Camplan with her vehicle.

Thomas had a warrant at the time of the crash for driving under the influence in Kentucky, court records state. In 2013, she was restricted to using a vehicle with an ignition interlock system after being convicted of the same offense, records state. Thomas did not have a valid Indiana driver's license at the time of the crash, records state.

Thomas remained wanted on a warrant Monday, records state. Her surety bond was $30,000.


Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.