A Portage motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash on Sunday at the
intersection of U.S. Highway 20 and C.R. 1400, Chesterton Police said.
It’s unclear what caused the accident but the victim, identified as George
E. Whitfield, 49, sustained apparent head injuries, police said.
According to police, at 8:58 p.m. Whitfield and another motorcyclist,
Richard G. Heimer Jr., 49, of Carthage, Tenn., were westbound on U.S. 20,
with Heimer leading Whitfield in the same lane. Heimer advised that, just
prior to the accident, he struck an unknown object in the roadway, causing
him almost to lose control of his bike. At that point “he looked around and
observed Mr. Whitfield’s crashing his motorcycle,” police said.
Whitfield left his motorcycle and came to rest in the eastbound lanes of
U.S. 20, his bike a few feet away on south side of the road on the shoulder,
Whitfield was not wearing a helmet and sustained suspected head and internal
injuries and was subsequently airlifted from the Franciscan Alliance 24-hour
ER department on Indian Boundary Road to Memorial Hospital in South Bend,
Meanwhile, Heimer showed signs of intoxication and failed several field
sobriety tests but refused to submit to a chemical test, police said. A
warrant for a blood draw was obtained and executed at Porter Valparaiso
Hospital Campus, police said.
Heimer was transported to Porter County Jail.