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2 Indiana men charged after ditching submerged car in DUI crash on I-80

Two men were arrested and a woman nearly died Thursday morning after their car slid into standing water on the I-80 in northwest Indiana.

At 3:25 a.m., a red sedan driven by 38-year-old Gabriel Salinas of Valparaiso skidded on the I-80 eastbound ramp to Kennedy Avenue near Hammond, according to Indiana State Police. Two other people, 28-year-old Anthony Luis Salinas of Hammond and a 20-year-old woman from East Chicago, were inside the car as it sank.

The trio escaped and began running down the ramp toward a hotel on Kennedy Avenue, police said. A passing driver told officers two passengers of the red sedan were hiding in the grass by a barrier wall.

The submerged vehicle. | Indiana State Police

Officers located the younger Salinas and the woman, who began convulsing and stopped breathing, police said. She was resuscitated and brought to Munster Community Hospital, while Anthony Salinas was taken into custody by Hammond police for multiple outstanding arrest warrants.

Meanwhile, officers caught the older Salinas hiding in the bathroom of the local hotel, police said. He appeared to be intoxicated and told officers he drove over black ice on the ramp, tumbling into the standing water.

Gabriel Salinas was charged with driving under the influence, which he has previously been convicted of, endangerment and leaving the scene of the crash. He was being held in Lake County Jail.

Anthony Salinas was arrested for an outstanding warrant by Hammond police for allegedly driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, as well as a warrant from the Lake County sheriff’s department, also on a DUI charge.

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