On April 29, 2008 three United States citizens from Indiana were violently killed when illegal alien Mario Cadena, drunk and speeding, ran a stop sign in Merrillville.
The SUV driven by Steven Hough with passenger Amy Bartelmey was travelling through the intersection of 101st Street and Randolph when Cadena’s Jeep Cherokee smashed into the passenger side of the vehicle. Hough’s SUV was forced into the Mustang driven by Garry Weiss. The victims’ vehicles were crushed to half of their original size in the chain reaction accident. All died of blunt force trauma and massive internal injuries.
Stephen and Amy were to be wed after dating for more than a year. Stephen had picked out an engagement ring. Stephen would have graduated in May from Purdue University Calumet with a degree in public relations. A scholarship was set up in Hough's name at the University. Amy, a hair stylist, left behind a 2 year old daughter. (1)
Garry Weiss was a prominent attorney and a “family man” with a wife and two teenage children. His daughter described herself as a “major daddy’s girl”. (1) Weiss’ wife Cindy stated, “He was the love of my life’’. (2) Weiss was returning home from bowling, a favorite pastime, on the evening he was killed.
Cadena had a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. (3) Cadena, a Mexican national, was in the United States illegally after over-staying his work visa. In 2001, he was charged with driving without a license and DWI. His charge was reduced and he was given a suspended sentence after 180 days and a $480 fine. In 2003, Cadena was once again charged with DWI—nearly twice the legal limit. Again, he received a suspended sentence. Speeding without a license in 2006, Cadena was still driving on the streets of America.
ICE denied being contacted at any point by local officials.