LAKE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) A northwest Indiana man is facing multiple charges after police say he struck a trucker who had exited his cab after pulling over on I-80/94 in Lake County, Indiana.

According to Indiana State Police, on Friday, March 31, at approximately 11:00 p.m., troopers responded to a report of a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian on I-80/94 eastbound at the 10.4 mile-marker.  The preliminary investigation determined that a semi pulled over to the right side of the roadway.  The driver of the semi was exiting the cab when he was struck by a passing vehicle.  Witnesses to the crash stopped and attempted to assist the man but were unable to remove him from under the semi.

Further investigation revealed that the truck driver was standing in the right lane, working on his trailer when he was struck.  There are not any shoulders in this area as the roadway is under construction. The trailer of the semi was partially in a grass area and partially in the far-right lane.

The vehicle that struck the pedestrian, a silver Dodge van, was being driven by Robert M. Ballard, 41, from Hobart.  During the crash investigation, probable cause was developed which led troopers to believe that Mr. Ballard was impaired.  Field sobriety tests were administered; however, Mr. Ballard refused to submit to a certified chemical test. A request for blood draw warrant was requested through and granted by a Lake County Judge.  The blood draw was later completed at a local medical facility. Mr. Ballard refused further medical treatment and was transported to the Lake County Jail for booking.

The pedestrian that was struck suffered life-threatening injuries.  He was transported to Northlake Hospital in Gary for treatment and later transferred to a hospital in Chicago due to the extent of his injuries. 

Mr. Ballard is preliminarily charged with the following:

  • Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Causing Serious Bodily Injury- Level 5 Felony
  • Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Causing Serious Bodily Injury- Level 6 Felony
  • Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (Endangering)- Class A Misdemeanor
  • Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated- Class C Misdemeanor