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Monday October 22, 2018

pizzeria owners killed in head on collision

Monday, October 09, 2017 13:19 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

A husband and wife killed when struck head-on by another driver on U.S 20 owned a pizzeria in downtown LaPorte.

The seriously injured driver who veered over the center line was a paramedic with LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service.

Those are among the new details from the Friday night crash on U.S 20 that remains under investigation.

LaPorte County Police Capt. Mike Kellems said blood alcohol tests under Indiana law are required in any serious injury or fatal crash and it might be a week before the results are known because of a blood sample having to be sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Don and Angie Kaczmarek of Michigan City owned Packman's Family Pizzeria at 612 Lincolnway in LaPorte's downtown.

Angie was 49 and Don was 47.

''They were just an absolutely wonderful couple. It was always a pleasure to stop in and see them,'' said Thaddeus Cutler, the city's downtown director.

Tron Gorbonosenko, 40, was airlifted to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with undisclosed injuries.

Indications are the victims were out on a delivery when their Honda Odyssey mini-van was struck by an oncoming Ford Mustang driven by Gorbonosenko, said Kellems.

The collision happened before 8 p.m. on a two-lane stretch of U.S 20 at Bootjack Road close to New Prairie High School.

That location is just a few miles east of the four lane stretch of U.S 20 where six people this year have lost their lives from motor vehicle collisions.

Kellems said investigators were still trying to determine how long Gorbonosenko had been over the center line prior to the collision.

Buddy Kasinger, a spokesman for LaPorte County EMS, would not say if Gorbonosenko could face any any disciplinary action.

He did say Gorbonosenko was off-duty in his personal vehicle and wasn't going to or from any job related functions or activities.

''Unfortunately, he was involved in a terrible situation,'' said Kasinger.

Cutler said the Kaczmarek's eagerly took part in events promoting the downtown and ran a solid business.

''It's really taken the wind out of a lot of downtown merchants and rightly so. It's just terrible what's happened,'' said Cutler.

The Kaczmarek's in recent years bought the pizzeria in LaPorte from Alvious and Jessica Pack who continue to operate the Packman's in Michigan City, said Cutler.
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