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OWI charges follow fatal crash on Franklin

October 7, 2018

MICHIGAN CITY — A man is facing several criminal charges for causing a traffic crash that left one man dead and forced rerouting of the high school homecoming parade on Friday, according to Michigan City Police.

The accident happened just after 5 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Franklin Street and Skwiat Legion Avenue.

Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek was first on the scene and found a man trapped in a severely damaged Toyota Corolla, which was resting near the intersection of Franklin and South streets, the chief said in a statement.

The damage to the vehicle was so severe that officers could not immediately free the victim from his vehicle. The Michigan City Fire Department arrived and was able to free the man, who was taken to Franciscan Health Michigan City, where he died a short time later, Swistek said.

The man’s identity was being withheld early Saturday pending notification of family.

Police said a blue Ford Focus, driven by 55-year-old Timothy Malott of Michigan City, was southbound on Franklin when the driver of the red Toyota attempted to turn northbound onto Franklin from Skwiat Legion Avenue.

The Toyota drove in front of the Ford and was broadsided, leaving both vehicles badly damaged and forcing the closure of Franklin Street for about 2 1/2 hours for the Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team to investigate the crash.

That forced the Michigan City High School Homecoming Parade to rerout to Wabash Street. Swistek said there were about 100 people in the area waiting to view the parade, but no one else was injured.

Malott, who was not injured in the crash, refused to submit to drug and alcohol testing, according to Swistek, so a warrant was obtained. The results of the alcohol test showed Malott had a blood alcohol content of .133 percent, well over the legal limit of .08.

He was charged with felony counts of operrating while intoxicated causing death and operating while intoxicated with a previous OWI conviction, according to the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department. He also faces misdemeanor counts of OWI with endangerment and OWI.

Police are investigating the possibility that speed may have also been a factor in the collision.

La Porte County EMS, and the Michigan City Emergency Management volunteer organization assisted at the crash site.

Anyone with further information about the accident should contact Capt. Jeff Loniewski at (219) 874-3221, ext. 1008.

— From staff reports

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