Woman killed in fiery gas pump crash ID’d as Gary resident

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. — A woman who died Sunday after a sport-utility vehicle crashed into a gas pump at a northwest Indiana gas station and caught fire has been identified as a Gary woman.

Vashnie L. Willis, 35, was pronounced dead at a hospital after Sunday afternoon’s crash, the Lake County coroner’s office said Monday. Her manner of death and the nature of her injury were pending.

Willis was driving an SUV when it struck a gas pump at a Luke gas station in East Chicago and burst into flames. An eyewitness said multiple people tried to pull Willis from the SUV after the crash, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

East Chicago police and firefighters responded to the crash scene, which is south of East Chicago’s South Shore commuter rail line station.

No other gas pumped appeared to be involved in the fire, which left behind the burned-out SUV and a burned gas pump.

East Chicago police have not released additional information on the crash, citing an ongoing investigation.