Unlicensed driver, 16, hits and injures girl, 8, near MC elementary school

A 16-year-old unlicensed driver whose mother was also in the car struck and injured a girl, 8, on Sept. 21, 2017, near Marsh Elementary in Michigan City.

The girl was initially taken to St. Anthony Hospital after the accident, which happened around 4:30 p.m., and was later airlifted to a regional trauma center, where she was in stable condition Aug. 22, according to Michigan City Police.

Neither the driver nor his mother, Graciela Chavez-Melendez, 41, is licensed to drive. Both were arrested and taken to the police department, where the mother was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor (Class A Misdemeanor) and her son was charged with operating a vehicle without ever receiving a license (Class C Misdemeanor).

Police said this is the second serious-injury accident involving a child near a playground within the last 2 months. After Wednesday’s accident, Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer immediately formed a traffic safety committee comprised of several city councilmen and other city officials to explore possible improvements within all of the city’s public school zones and parks.

7 Responses to “Unlicensed driver, 16, hits and injures girl, 8, near MC elementary school”

  1. drew

    Sep 23. 2017

    misdemeanors? Pathetic attempt at justice

    Reply to this comment
  2. lawman

    Sep 23. 2017

    due to public apathy they will walk with little or no punishment. tip of the iceberg

    Reply to this comment
  3. Anon

    Sep 24. 2017

    Not that it’s any higher of an offense but why wasn’t crash resulting in bodily injury added to the charges? I know exactly what will happen here, the 16 year old will get probation, the mother will get probation, and that poor little girls family will try to sue them in civil court and get absolutely nothing because I’m sure they’re poor. I feel bad for the little girl and I hope the responsible party feels the guilt like a knife for the rest of their lives.

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  4. my 2 cents

    Sep 25. 2017

    Who owns the car? That’s who is really at fault, the owner of the vehicle that allowed unlicensed people to use it. IF it was their car, then who is the low life that sold an unlicensed person a vehicle, blame them too. Hope the little girl will be ok and hope the others have learned their hard life lesson.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Jeff Barnard

    Sep 25. 2017

    To Anon above: with such a well written and spot on comment as that you should have given your name. I agree wholeheartedly.
    Same to the Lawman.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Left LaPorte

    Sep 26. 2017

    What, no reckless driving charge? Impound the vehicle, sell it for whatever it’s worth and give that money to the family to help pay for the little girls injuries. Sentence both the mother and son to extensive community service and restrict the boy from driving until he’s at least 21. Garnish whatever wages they make while you’re at it!

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  7. Concerned

    Sep 30. 2017

    I have to wonder if these are legal citizens and if they are collecting government money in any way. If they’re not and they are, it should stop! They both knew they were doing something wrong.God bless the little girl and her family.

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