(La Porte, IN) - A man is heading to prison for causing a motor vehicle fatality while driving impaired in La Porte County.
Authorities said Thomas Nelsen, 40, of Knox was under the influence of heroin. Police said Nelsen veered over the center line and an oncoming motorcycle, trying to avoid a collision, slid and rolled. Barbara McDowell of Kingsford Heights was on the back seat of the motorcycle driven by her husband. She was airlifted and died the next morning.
Nelsen of Knox was given a five year prison sentence Friday in La Porte Circuit Court. The evidence indicates he took heroin about 30 minutes prior to the collision on U.S. 6 near Westville in early April.
Police said he struck a vehicle, while another vehicle trying to avoid a collision, struck a utility pole.