A driver was forced to watch his wife being burned alive Saturday inside their wrecked SUV after he drove off the ramp to a demolished bridge by apparently following GPS navigation, authorities say.
The Times of Northwest Indiana reports 51-year-old Zohra Hussain of Chicago died of burns after the car caught fire following the 37-foot plunge Saturday morning onto property owned by BP in East Chicago, Ind. Her 64-year-old husband, Iftikhar Hussain, survived.
Lake County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Patricia Van Til said the road is marked with numerous barricades, including orange barrels and cones, large wood signs stating ROAD CLOSED with orange striped markings and concrete barricades across the road. The bridge over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal has been closed since 2009.
A police investigator told the Times of Northwest Indiana that the couple appeared to be on their way to visit family, since they had food in the vehicle.
After the crash, Iftikhar Hussain was able to escape the car, but it burst into flames with his wife still inside.
Zohra Hussain later died of burn injuries, according to the Lake County coroner’s office.
The tragedy is not the first at the bridge. In 1982, the bridge collapsed during construction, killing 14 construction workers, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.
In 2009, the bridge was closed after decades of use from heavy semi-trucks caused it to deteriorate. Then-Gov. Mitch Daniels proposed to rebuild the bridge, but Indiana backed off on their plans after deciding that a replacement bridge would be too expensive.
Construction of a new bridge is scheduled to begin this spring.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.