2 rescued from crashed in northern Indiana

SOUTH BEND — Two people were rescued Tuesday morning after being trapped inside a crashed car in a northern Indiana ditch, authorities said.

Hunters discovered the crash around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

The occupants likely were trapped for less than 24 hours, the release said. The property owner believes the vehicle likely crashed after dark Monday and missed a curve while driving down a dirt lane.

The occupants of the vehicle said they were not sure when they crashed or how long they had been trapped, the release said.

The female driver suffered from several injuries, including a possible broken foot, it said. The male passenger suffered from multiple unknown injuries. Both were hospitalized.

The two were found conscious and alert, responders at the scene said.

Kathie Dhuivetter, who lives nearby, said a sand pit and pond are located near the spot where the car slid off the road.

“If they had went any further, they probably would have just drowned,” she told the South Bend Tribune.

Indiana COVID-19 hospitalizations increasing in new year

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana health officials reported 3,477 new coronavirus infections and 142 additional COVID-19 deaths Tuesday as the state began to see a slow increase of coronavirus-related hospitalizations following a previous series of spikes in December.

The newly recorded coronavirus deaths, of which more than 100 occurred since the start of the new year, raised Indiana’s toll to 8,663, including victims with both confirmed and presumed infections, according to the Indiana Department of Health’s daily update.

The state agency also reported that Indiana hospitals had 2,907 coronavirus patients as of Monday, 71 more than Sunday and the most since Dec. 29. The COVID-19 hospitalizations have declined about 16% since peaking Nov. 30 but remain more than three times higher than in September.

Of those being treated, 591 people are in intensive care, according to the state health department’s online dashboard.

The number of Indiana residents known to have had the coronavirus is now up to 533,083.

NW Indiana mayor fires worker after New Year’s gunshots

HAMMOND — A northwest Indiana mayor has fired a city worker after the man allegedly put others at risk by firing gunshots into the air to celebrate the New Year.

Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott said Monday in a social media posting that he fired a water department worker after a video surfaced on Facebook apparently showing the man firing two celebratory shots into the air on New Year’s Eve, while standing next to someone who fired several shots.

McDermott called those gunshots a “dangerous action” in a social media posting in which he asked where those who fire such gunshots “think the bullets are going to end up? In orbit?”

Celebratory gunfire long has been a concern in Hammond, where a 13-year-old boy, Noah Inman, was killed as he played basketball on July 4, 2017, when he was struck by a bullet falling from the sky.

No one has been charged in Inman’s death, but detectives suspected the bullet that killed him was fired into the sky by someone in the area in celebration of the Fourth of July.

“Haven’t we, as a society, learned a thing from his tragic murder?” McDermott wrote in his posting.

The mayor said the water department employee he fired was charged and issued a Hammond ordinance violation.

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