Chesterton Tribune

Portage PD: Man dies in crash caused by motorist taking driving test

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An Ogden Dunes man died Tuesday of injuries sustained in a three vehicle accident which Portage Police said was caused by another motorist taking a BMV driving test.

The victim was identified as Guy Manna, 71.

According to police, at 4:22 p.m. Christian Hernandez, 20, of Lake Station, was taking a driving test with Bureau of Motor Vehicles instructor Deborah Elliott of Michigan City. Hernandez was westbound on Central Ave., driving a Volkswagen Jetta “at a high rate of speed,” when he disregarded a red light at the intersection of Willowcreek Road and collided with Manna, who was turning left from southbound Willowcreek Road onto eastbound Central Ave., police said.

Hernandez then continued across the intersection and struck another vehicle, causing minor damage to it but no injuries to its teenage driver, police said.

Manna had to be extricated from his Ford Windstar minivan and was transported to Porter Portage Hospital Campus. He died just before he was to be airlifted to a Chicago-area hospital, police said.

Elliott, the BMV driving instructor, advised police that “Hernandez appeared to have some type of medical condition, possibly a seizure, just prior to the crash, which caused him to increase his speed and disregard the red light.”

Hernandez “sustained minor injuries to his hip and wrist and did not require any medical attention,” police said.

Posted 8/3/2011