Chesterton Tribune


Toll Road maintenance worker, motorist killed in crash

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From the Indiana State Police

Indiana State Police Master Trooper Todd LaBonne responded to a crash, this morning, on I-90 (Toll Road) where a maintenance worker was killed in a crash.

Preliminary investigation revealed that Toll Road radio dispatch had received a call about a speeding erratic driver west bound on the Toll Road and dispatched that information out when minutes later, at approximately 11:30 EST) the same vehicle, a red 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe, hit the rear of a maintenance pick-up.

The Ford pick-up, driven by Kevin Standefer, 49 of LaPorte, was parked on the inner shoulder west bound at the 39.8 mile marker (this is just east of the Michigan City exit). The pick-up had warning lights and a lit arrow board activated on it. There was also signage behind the pick-up warning west bound traffic of workers working up ahead. Daniel J. Miller, 52 of LaPorte, a passenger in the pick-up had just exited the truck to get trimming equipment out of the back when the Santa Fe hit Miller and the rear of the pick-up.

Miller was pronounced dead at the scene by the LaPorte County Coroner (family notified). Standefer was taken to Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City with non-life threatening injuries. Miller was a seventeen-year employee and Standefer a twelve-year employee with the Toll Road; both worked for the LaPorte District Maintenance Area 2.

The driver of the Santa Fe was airlifted from the scene and taken to South Bend Memorial where he died from his injuries.

The driver has been identified as Paul A. Kimbrugh, 78 of Coldwater, Michigan and Cape Coral, Florida.

Both vehicles were totaled. The road west bound was closed for approximately two hours for reconstruction of the crash, airlifting of the driver, removal of the deceased and vehicles, and clean-up of the roadway.

Agencies assisting: LaPorte County Coroner, LaPorte EMS, Westville Fire Department, Coolspring Fire Department and LaPorte County Sheriff Department.

The Indiana State Police reminds drivers that Indiana Law requires motorists to move over and or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle, or a highway maintenance vehicle, on two or four lane roadways when they have emergency lights flashing.

Motorists MUST change lanes away from the emergency or highway maintenance vehicle if they can do so SAFELY; If not they must SLOW DOWN and proceed with caution. We are asking motorists NOT TO STOP in the roadway, but to SLOW DOWN and/or MOVE OVER.

Indiana emergency and highway maintenance vehicles include:

Police vehicles


Fire trucks and rescue equipment

Highway incident-response vehicles

Highway work vehicles

Vehicle recovery equipment (tow trucks)

The Indiana State Police remain committed to reducing crashes, educating the public on the main causes of crashes and patrolling in high crash areas. We continue to monitor the top causes for crashes around the state and concentrating enforcement efforts on these causes.


Posted 10/2/2012