A Union Township man has been sentenced to four years in the Indiana
Department of Correction (DOC) after pleading guilty to driving under the
influence of marijuana and striking and killing a jogger last year.
Joseph R. Ruwaldt, 20, with a listed address of 322W 100N, was sentenced on
Ruwaldt pleaded guilty to OWI-causing death with a controlled substance or
its metabolite in the system, a Class C felony punishable by a term of two
to eight years.
Porter Superior Court Judge Bill Alexa sentenced Ruwaldt to four years, none
of the term suspended. In addition, Alexa suspended Ruwaldt’s driver’s
license for a period of three years, retroactive to July 11, 2011.
Alexa did give Ruwaldt credit for time served while awaiting disposition,
243 actual days, and recommended that Ruwaldt participate in the Westville
Therapeutic Community while in DOC.
All other lesser and included charges against Ruwaldt were dismissed.
According to the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, at 7:38 a.m. July 31, 2011,
Ruwaldt was eastbound on C.R. 100N when he left the roadway in the area of
C.R. 350W and struck Garry Bradley, who was running eastbound on the north
edge of the road.
Bradley—who police said was “thrown up onto the hood” of Ruwaldt’s truck,
“carried for a distance, and then fell to the ground”—was pronounced dead at
Police said that Ruwaldt, who stated that he’d “dozed off” behind the wheel,
was traveling at approximately 52 miles per hour, in a zone posted at 35
mph, when he hit Bradley.
Ruwaldt subsequently tested positive for marijuana in his blood, at 8.82 ng/ml,
In February, Alexa ordered Ruwaldt—who was out on bond—returned to Porter
County Jail after the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said that
he had flunked a drug test. At that hearing Ruwaldt advised that he thought
he’d been smoking a legal synthetic marijuana but a drug test conducted
early in January found the presence in his system of an illegal synthetic,
the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said at the time.