Teen severely injured in Winfield, Indiana crash has long road to recovery, family says

Lake County, Indiana crash killed 19 year old and seriously injured another teen, officials said

Karen Jordan Image
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Teen severely injured in Winfield, IN crash has long road to recovery
A teen girl severely injured in a Winfield, IN crash has a long road to recovery, her family said. A Crown Point woman hit her vehicle head-on.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of a teenager hurt in a crash in Indiana said she has a long road to recovery.

Bella Vaught was one of three teenagers involved in the crash on the Fourth of July.

Rob and Jennifer Vaught said they are grateful through the tough times.

It's been a week since their daughter suffered severe injuries in a car crash.

The 13 year old just had surgery Monday night at Comer Children's Hospital.

"She's got a long road ahead, and I think that's starting to sink in for her, but we're grateful that she's here," Jennifer Vaught said.

Bella and her friend, Emma Norris, also 13, were being driven by Emma's 19-year old sister, Grace.

They were heading to a Fourth of July party when they were struck head-on by another vehicle on a stretch of 117th Avenue in Winfield, Indiana.

Police said the driver was a 44-year-old woman from Crown Point who was also hurt in the crash.

SEE ALSO: 19-year-old woman killed, 2 teens hurt in NW Indiana crash witnesses say was caused by tailgating

Grace was killed in the crash. Emma and Bella were taken to hospitals. Both are expected to recover.

Bella's parents shared that their daughter suffered broken bones, fractures to her jaw and a mild spine injury.

"We have been just stunned by the outpouring of love, like, we had no idea," Jennifer Vaught said.

The Vaughts said Bella has no memory of the crash, and, for now, communicates through texting.

But they said she's in good spirits, still very much a sassy 13 year old.

"She doesn't like my mom jokes, so it feels a little bit normal that way. We try to keep her spirits up, and she just kind of rolls her eyes," Jennifer Vaught said.

Although the Vaughts don't know yet when Bella can go home, they know they'll have to make some adjustments.

They credit their strong faith and Bella's athleticism as a star softball player for her recovery.

Neither Winfield nor Lake County, Indiana police immediately provided an update on possible charges against the 44-year old driver.