Alcohol believed to be factor in Ind. crash

Prominent attorney, young couple killed
April 30, 2008 2:48:20 PM PDT
Four people died in a three-car crash in northwest Indiana on Tuesday night. Police said the driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee ran a stop sign at a Merrillville, Ind., striking a Chevy Blazer. That impact sent teh Blazer head-on into a Ford Mustang.

Garry Weiss, a well known defense attorney in northwest Indiana, was driving the Ford Mustang. He was killed. The day before the wreck, a man Weiss defended was convicted of operating a dogfighting ring out of his home.

"He was a testament to what an attorney should be. He represented those people that others wouldn't. He did it with a smile. He always treated everyone, friends, clients, family, with respect," said attorney Jennifer Campbell, victim's friend and colleague.

Weiss, a huge White Sox fan, had an excellent reputation throughout northwest Indiana. Friends and colleagues say he was a dedicated family man and an active member of the community.

"He took pride in the fact that he was a public defender, that he offered representation to people that wouldn't otherwise be represented. And he was just a wonderful man. He was a very loving father, a very loving husband, and a wonderful friend to all of us who had the pleasure of working with him. He is going to be missed by everyone very much," said attorney Chris Schmidgall, Weiss' law partner.

Young couple killed in crash

The other victims have been identified as 26-year-old Steven Hough, who was driving the Chevy Blazer, and his passenger, 25-year-old Amy Bartelmey. The couple was headed home to Hobart, Ind. They had planned to marry.

"It's a nice little neighborhood we have here. They were kind of like the babies of the neighborhood, the young couple of the neighborhood" said Mickey Warner, victim's neighbor.

"She's very, very gregarious and outgoing and just loved people and was in the moment and just a beautiful, beautiful kid," said Michael Stemmons, victim's stepfather.

Police believe that the fourth victim, the driver of Grand Cherokee, is responsible for the accident. He has not been identified. His family is still being notified in Mexico.

Merrillville police say it appears that speed and alcohol were both factors in the accident.


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