Accident on State Road 39 Stops Traffic

An accident on State Road 39 at the intersection with Toto Road in North Judson brought traffic to a standstill Thursday as emergency responders rushed to the scene. Fortunately, the accident did not result in any substantial injuries, though one driver was taken to the hospital via ambulance for a small cut to the top of his head.

According to the accident report, at around 2:16 p.m., Meier D. Heinz, 72 of Valparaiso, was traveling north on State Road 39 in a red Toyota Land Cruiser when a 1999 Lincoln Continental driven by 34-year-old Bill J. Ortiz of Immokalee, Flo. drove through the intersection into his lane of travel. Heinz said he was unable to avoid an accident, attempting to veer to the right, and was struck by Continental. The accident caused heavy damage to the driver’s front corner of his vehicle and deployed his airbags.

Ortiz told police that he had stopped at the stop sign and looked in both directions, but failed to see the other driver. He then proceeded westbound, crossing State Road 39, when the collision took place. Ortiz was taken to IU Health Starke Hospital and cited for Operator Never Licensed.