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Family speaks after woman in ambulance killed in DWI crash

LA PORTE COUNTY, Ind. - A family is searching for justice after an alleged drunk driver killed a woman being transported in an ambulance in February. The woman's sister and friend spoke exclusively with ABC 57's Jess Arnold Monday.

On an extremely foggy February 15, an ambulance was driving southbound on US 421 when an alleged drunk driver in a pickup truck heading northbound decided to pass the semi-truck in front of him.

The driver hit the ambulance head on, ultimately killing 47-year-old Heather Widing, who was a passenger in the ambulance, and injuring the other two people in the ambulance.

Widing had been on her way to being transferred from Porter Hospital to one in Indy.

“There was no way she would have been able to survive, and I don’t think anybody would have been able to survive those types of injuries," said Heather's sister, Tami Widing.

In March, the driver of the red truck, 47-year-old Jeffrey Bilyak, who also happens to be a dentist with a practice in North Judson, was charged with Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Causing Death, Reckless Homicide, and two counts of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Causing Serious Bodily Injury.

Documents say Bilyak's BAC was .17%, more than twice the legal limit.

“He eventually will get a second chance in his life, and he took that away from my sister," said Tami.

Heather was a sister and friend to many, spending much of her time helping others at the Portage VFW.

“She just brightened up a room. She just made everybody laugh. Her and rusty and their cooking. The stuff they did here, and you know the canning, and the jokes," said Jessica Fisch, Heather's friend.

“She just had a great sense of humor and everybody liked her," said Tami.

While friends and family are left to think about a life cut short, Bilyak has since bonded out of jail and awaits his fate.

“He needs to pay for his crime. That’s the bottom line," said Tami.


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