MERRILLVILLE — A state police sergeant saved a Crown Point woman's life Tuesday after he saw her choking in her car while stopped at a traffic light.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Dan Avitia was on-duty in his squad car just before 5 p.m. Tuesday on southbound Broadway near U.S. 30, according to an ISP news release.
Avitia was stopped at the red light in the turning lane to go east onto U.S. 30 when he heard cars honking to the left of him. As Avitia looked to see what was happening, he noticed several cars honking their horns and cursing at a driver of a gray Ford sports utility vehicle who had been stopped in the turn lane to go west onto U.S. 30 when the light had turned green.
"The SUV stayed stopped and the cars behind had begun honking their horns, cursing at the driver and making not very nice gestures to the driver of the SUV. Avitia noticed the female driver of the SUV had her hands at her neck," the news release stated.
Avitia activated his squad car emergency lights and ran to the SUV driver, who was later identified as a 41-year-old woman from Crown Point.
When he opened her car door, he knew she was choking and struck her back hard a couple of times, causing the woman to throw up her food and begin breathing again. She had been eating food while driving, police said.
Merrillville police and an ambulance were called to the scene. The female was checked out, and eventually able to drive away on her own.