19-year-old Grace Norris killed, teen sister injured in head-on crash in Northwest Indiana

Liz Nagy Image
Friday, July 7, 2023
Woman, 19, killed, teen sister injured in NW Indiana head-on crash
Grace Norris, 19, was killed and her 13-year-old sister was injured in a head-on crash in Northwest Indiana which witnesses said was caused by tailgating.

CROWN POINT, Ind. (WLS) -- A family is reeling after their 19-year-old daughter was killed and their 13-year-old daughter was seriously injured in a Northwest Indiana crash.

The crash happened Tuesday in the 7000-block of East 117th Avenue just after 4:30 p.m.

Witnesses told police a Subaru SUV traveling east was tailgating a Jeep. It tried to pass the Jeep, and crossed the center line into oncoming traffic, where it collided head-on with a Kia driving west.

The Kia's driver, 19-year-old Grace Norris, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two 13-year-olds, one of them Grace's sister, were also in the car and injured.

Grace's father said she was driving her younger sister around to pick up friend to celebrate Independence Day.

"My daughter Emma asked my daughter Grace, 'Can you go pick up a couple friends?'" father Jason Norris said.

The two left to pick up friends in Winfield and Lowell, Indiana. About an hour later, Jason Norris's phone rang. The girls hadn't made it to their second stop, and their father said neither was answering repeated calls. So he tracked their car, finding it along 117th Avenue.

"We realized that their location hadn't moved in 50 minutes," he said.

Within seconds, Norris and his oldest daughter tore off to find them.

"We got about a mile and a half away, according to the app, and as we come up over the hill we saw all kinds of police cars and ambulances, and I thought... The first thing we saw when we got to the scene was the coroner's van," he said, unable to hold back his tears. "We knew."

Emma was airlifted to Comer Children's Hospital. Her parents said when she woke up on Wednesday she had no memory of the crash that had killed her older sister.

"The first thing she said is, 'How's Grace?'" her father said. "She looked me in the eye and I had to tell her."

The driver of the Subaru is a 44-year-old woman from Crown Point. No further information was available and there is no word on any possible charges against the driver.

The Norrises said doctors are working to move their surviving daughter to recover in a room alongside her friend, who was also injured in the crash.