Archived Story

Update: Names released in serious accident on S. 11th Street

Published 9:19am Friday, September 13, 2013

Police have released an update on a serious accident involving a Niles family Thursday afternoon in Niles Charter Township.

A commercial truck ran a red light and hit a van driven by Amy Leinonen, 31, of Niles, at the intersection of Fulkerson Street and South 11th Street at around 3:37 p.m.

Leinonen’s three children, ages 7, 9 and 11, were passengers in the van.

Leinonen was transported to South Bend Memorial Hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. All three children were transported to the same hospital where they were treated and released with minor cuts and bruises.

Leinonen had just picked up her children from school and was stopped at a red light for westbound traffic on Fulkerson Road. Witnesses indicate Leinonen’s light changed to green and she started to proceed through the intersection when a 24-foot straight box truck driven by 32-year-old Rafael Alonzo, Jr., of Chicago, ran the red light for northbound traffic, striking Leinonen in the driver’s door. Leinonen’s vehicle spun out of control and into a yard near the intersection. Alonzo was not injured in the crash.

Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the accident. The cause of the collision is still under investigation.


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