Chesterton Tribune



ISP: Porter motorcyclist fleeing US 20 traffic stop crashes, dies

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A Porter man died early this morning of injuries sustained when he crashed his motorcycle on U.S. Highway 20 while being pursued by a Porter County Sheriff’s Police officer, the Indiana State Police said.

The man was identified as Michael Jozwiak, 48.

According to the ISP, at 11:45 p.m. Jozwiak was westbound on U.S. 20 when, in the area of Wagner Road, the PCSP officer attempted to perform a traffic stop on him for an improperly displayed license plate.

“When the officer activated his emergency lights, the motorcycle accelerated and gave no indication of attempting to stop or pull over,” the ISP said.

The pursuit ended when Jozwiak, traveling at a high rate of speed, lost control of his 1994 cafe-style Honda at the westbound I-94 on-ramp, was ejected, and landed on the westbound I-94 off-ramp, the ISP said.

Jozwiak--who was not wearing a helmet--was transported to Porter Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of blunt force trauma at 12:30 a.m., Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris told the Chesterton Tribune today. The results of a routine toxicology screen are pending, Harris added.

In his report, released late this morning by the PCSP, the officer who attempted to perform a traffic stop on Jozwiak stated the following: “(T)he motorcycle in front of me appeared to be swerving within its lane. I then caught up to the motorcycle and attempted to read the license plate but was unable to do so because the plate was improperly displayed. The plate was mounted vertically and in a way that I was unable to read (it). As I traveled in the right lane, a few car lengths behind the motorcycle, I witnessed the driver look over his shoulder and see that it was a police vehicle following him.”

At this point the officer notified dispatch that he was initiating a traffic stop on Jozwiak and proceeded to activate his emergency lights, prompting Jozwiak to accelerate, the officer stated in his report. “While pursuing the motorcycle we entered a work-zone area near Mineral Springs (Road) in which the driver of the motorcycle began to drive in the eastbound lane. While pursuing the motorcycle in this work zone I witnessed the motorcycle strike two traffic barrels before getting back into the westbound lanes. The pursuit continued on U.S. 20 at speeds ranging from 80 mph to 100 mph with no other westbound traffic.”

“As the pursuit passed the (Travel America North) service station, the driver switched from the left lane to the right lane,” the officer stated. “I then continued pursuing in the left lane. The driver of the motorcycle then appeared to keep looking over his right shoulder to see my location. The driver continued past the entry ramp to westbound I-94 and left the roadway, causing the driver to be thrown from the motorcycle.”

The ISP said that both I-94 ramps were closed until approximately 2:20 a.m. for reconstruction of the crash. Also responding to the scene were the Burns Harbor, Porter, and Chesterton police departments, the Porter and Burns Harbor fire departments, and PRH EMS.


Posted 6/2/2016





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