Two dead, five injured in South Bend crash
South Bend Police and the St. Joseph County Fatal Alcohol Crash Team are investigating a multi-vehicle crash that killed two people early Sunday morning.
South Bend PD confirms they were on their way to another call just before 3 A.M. when they came across this crash near the intersection of Lincolnway West and N. Bendix Drive. They say the crash involved five vehicles, killing two people and injuring five more, three of whom went to the hospital.
A Chrysler 200 allegedly rear-ended a Saturn Ion. This caused a chain reaction crash when the Saturn Ion was pushed into a Chevy Trax, which pushed the Trax into a Ford Focus. The Ford Focus then was pushed into a BMW 750. The drivers of the Ion, Trax, Focus, and BMW were waiting on Lincoln Way West, all in the eastbound lane, for the light to turn when the collision occurred.
The front seat passenger of the Saturn Ion, Tajuanna Norris, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another passenger of the Ion, Tony Griffin, 37, was also pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Ion and another passenger, a five-year-old boy, were both taken to the hospital and both are currently listed in critical condition.
The driver of the Chrysler 200 was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
The driver and passenger of the Chevy Trax both suffered minor injuries.
The drivers of the Ford Focus and BMW 750 both were uninjured.
However, police say first responders struggled to get to the scene after they say hundreds of vehicles were blocking the roadway along Lincolnway West.
It’s a dangerous situation Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski spoke to last month warning the harm it is bringing to the community.
"For whatever reason, typically, it’s either Western Avenue or Lincolnway, either heading from the west into downtown, or vice-versa, and we have nothing but problems associated with that," Chief Ruszkowski said. "It’s not just dangerous with people hanging out of their car windows, speeding, drag racing up and down the streets. It’s not just vehicles, it’s motorcycles as well and just acting foolish, taking a chance somebody getting severely hurt or getting killed doing these things."
The crash is still being investigated by the St. Joseph County FACT and toxicology reports are pending.