Chesterton Tribune

Jackson Township man dies in crash at Indiana Dunes State Park

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A Jackson Township man died Wednesday in a one vehicle accident at the entrance to Indiana Dunes State Park, the Law Enforcement Division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resource said.

The victim was identified as Robert Murphy, 49.

At 10:30 p.m. Murphy was northbound at the terminus of Ind. 49 in a 2003 GMC pickup truck when he crossed the center line and entered the southbound lane, Conservation Officer Shawn Brown told the Chesterton Tribune today. The passenger’s front corner of Murphy’s pickup then struck a decorative boulder located in the median at an estimated speed of 63 miles per hour, Brown said.

The pickup bounced off the boulder and slid sidewise at an estimated speed of 34 mph, its driver’s side impacting one of the old brick buildings which flank the entrance to the State Park, Brown said.

Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene by Porter County Chief Deputy Coroner Bob Byrd. A spokesperson for Coroner Victoria Deppe said that the cause of death has been determined to be a frontal skull fracture caused by blunt force trauma to the head.

Brown was unable to say whether Murphy had been wearing a seat belt but did say that he was not ejected from the pickup.

The results of a routine toxicological screen are pending.

The crash is being jointly investigated by the Law Enforcement Division and the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, which reconstructed the accident.


Posted 1/17/2008