Buick catapults Lowell Trooper into the air during I-80 investigation

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HAMMOND – An Indiana State Trooper (ISP) is recovering from serious injuries after he was catapulted into the air by a Buick while investigating a crash.  

It happened shortly after 4 am Sunday morning while three ISP Troopers, based at Lowell, were conducting an investigation into a multi-car crash on I-80/94 eastbound. 

According to ISP, after a car had stalled on the Interstate, Indiana State Trooper Jarah Burgin parked his vehicle behind the disabled car with emergency lights activated. Trooper Burgin was about to enter his police car when a 2007 Tan Buick driven by 35-year-old Jennifer Spikes of Gary reportedly disregarded flares and emergency lighting and hit Burgin’s squad car, catapulting Burgin into the air. The Trooper landed on the windshield of the Buick before the car came to a stop.  

The force of the impact resulted in Burgin’s handcuffs being embedded into the windshield. 

Both Trooper Burgin and Spikes suffered injuries in the crash and were sent to Community Hospital in Munster. Trooper Burgin suffered serious injuries, but is expected to make a full recovery

According to ISP, Spikes was offered a field sobriety test but refused. A search warrant later obtained approved a blood draw. Those results are pending.  

Spikes was later released from the hospital and transported to the Lake County Jail, charged on five counts, including two felonies, Driving While Suspended Causing Injury (Level 6 Felony) and Operating While Intoxicated (Level 5 Felony).

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