Charges filed in hit-and-run that killed pedestrian on I-80/94
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 29, 2013 4:08PM
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:34AM
VALPARAISO — The person who allegedly hit and killed a LaPorte man with her car on Aug. 4 while he walked along Interstate 80/94 faces up to eight years in prison.
The Porter County Prosecutor’s office has charged Patricia A. Callahan, age unknown, of Portage with three Class C felonies: leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, reckless homicide and insurance fraud.
Mowing crews had found Ricky L. Kimble, 50, on Aug. 6 near Portage at the 18.2 mile marker of eastbound Interstate 80/94.
As of Thursday afternoon, Callahan was not in custody.
She faces up to eight years in prison on each of the three felonies against her, and bail bond had been set at $5,000.
The 6-foot-1-inch and 260-pound Kimble became the focus of a search on Aug. 5 after his family reported him missing because they had not seen him since Aug. 3.
Court documents state that the distance between his personal belongings and body showed that he was hit by someone traveling at considerable speed.
He died from multiple fractures to his legs and spine and traumatic internal injuries, according to an autopsy.
Police received information about the accident on Aug. 7 after Burns Harbor Police said they located a car that could have been used in the accident.
Callahan had told repair workers at Arnell Chevrolet on U.S. 20 that she had hit a deer and then construction barricades with her 2008 silver Pontiac G6 GT, police said.
However, they thought the car’s condition didn’t match her story.
The car had massive damage to the passenger side of the windshield, the hood, the passenger front quarter panel and the roof — all consistent with someone being hit, landing on the hood and going over the roof, court documents state.
Police took evidence from the car, including hair and blood samples
Friends of Callahan told police she spent Aug. 3 with them, playing cards and drinking vodka and tequila, taking the bottle of tequila with her when she left Aug. 4.
The friends said she asked them the next day what would happen if she hit a person and said to them, “I can’t go to jail.”
An insurance adjuster also told Callahan that he did not believe her story about the damage to the car but did approve a $4,414 check to pay for damages.