HAMMOND, Ind. — Indiana State Police say for the third time in as many weeks, a trooper has been struck by a vehicle while investigating a crash.
The most recent instance happened after 4 a.m. Sunday when troopers from the ISP Lowell Post were investigating a multi-vehicle crash on I-80/94 at the 1.7 mile-marker.
The right three lanes were blocked because one of the vehicles stalled and responders were unable to move it from the lane.
A preliminary investigation by state police shows that a trooper parked his fully marked police car behind the disabled vehicle with its emergency lights activated. He also placed about 30 flares on the roadway to block the lanes, and at least three other police cars were at the scene with their emergency lights activated.
ISP says the trooper was standing outside his police car and about to enter when a tan 2007 Buick driven by 35-year-old Jennifer Spikes, of Gary, disregarded the flares and struck the police car. The Buick then struck the trooper, which thrust him into the air and onto the windshield of the Buick before the Buick eventually stopped.
The trooper’s handcuffs were lodged in the windshield of the Buick. Other troopers at the scene immediately began to render aid to both the injured trooper and Spikes. Both were taken to Community Hospital in Munster.
State police say the trooper suffered serious injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.
Authorities say evidence at the scene led troopers to believe that alcohol may be a factor. Spikes refused field sobriety tests as well as a certified chemical test for intoxication and drugs, according to ISP. A search warrant for a blood draw was requested through the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office and approved by a judge. State police say the search warrant was executed, and a blood draw was completed. The results of that test are pending.
Spikes was later released from the hospital and taken to the Lake County Jail. She is facing the following preliminary charges:
- O.W.I. Causing Injury- Level 5 Felony
- O.W.I. Endangering a Person- Class A Misdemeanor
- O.W.I. – Class C Misdemeanor
- Driving While Suspended Causing Injury- Level 6 Felony
- Failing to Yield to Emergency Vehicle- Infraction