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Cops: Drunken birthday reveler drives under truck, gets dragged for a mile

A 34-year-old Hammond Ind. woman -- who police say had blood-alcohol level 2 1/2 times over legal limit -- ended

A 34-year-old Hammond, Ind. woman -- who police say had a blood-alcohol level 2 1/2 times over the legal limit -- ended her 34th birthday celebration early Saturday by totaling her car when she rear-ended a semi on I-80 outside of Gary. The woman, who had to be extricated from the car, was charged with three traffic violations, including DUI and driving on a suspended license, Indiana State Police said. | Indiana State Police photo

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Updated: October 27, 2012 5:36PM

A trucker hauling a load of rice through Gary didn’t realize a drunken woman plowed her car into the back of his big rig — and he dragged her wedged-under car for more than a mile, police said.

Indiana State Police say the woman, Natasha M. Garza was out celebrating her 34th birthday when she rammed into the truck on westbound I-80/94 in Gary at 2:40 a.m Saturday.

The Hammond woman’s 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt got stuck, and was dragged until the trucker finally pulled over to the shoulder.

She hurt her ankle and wrist and was hospitalized and being cut out of the car by Gary firefighters. Police said her blood alcohol level was .21 — more than twice the legal limit to drive.

She was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and following too closely.

Police said her Cobalt “was a total loss.”

The driver of the semi, Ron G. Palafox, 53, of Romeoville, was hauling 42,000 pounds of rice at the time. He wasn’t hurt and his load didn’t spill, but he was cited for a logbook violation and load securement, police said.

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