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3 years in jail for fatal hit and run

Updated: July 26, 2014 6:44AM



VALPARAISO — The woman who hit and killed a LaPorte man walking along Interstate 80/94 in August received a sentence Tuesday of three years incarceration, three years on probation and six months of a suspended license.

Patricia Ann Callahan, 51, of Portage has already served 298 days in Porter County Jail, leaving her with about eight months left on her incarceration with good time credit.

Callahan pleaded guilty to Class C felony leaving the scene of an accident causing death on April 29 for the Aug. 4 accident that left Ricky L. Kimble, 50, dead in the grass near Portage at the 18.2 mile marker of eastbound I-80/94.

His family reported him missing Aug. 5, but mowing crews didn’t find his body until Aug. 6.

Callahan hit him after returning to home from visiting friends while the 250-pound, 6-foot man walked along the expressway in dark clothes.

The way his belongings were spread a distance from his body showed that Callahan hit him with her 2008 Pontiac G6 GT with considerable force, according to court records.

Kimble’s body had multiple leg and spinal fractures.

Police found Callahan after Arnell Chevrolet called Burns Harbor police while repairing her car on Aug. 7.

Arnell employees thought the damage of her car wasn’t consistent with hitting a deer, as she told them and her insurance company.

In exchange for her plea, the state dropped two other charges, reckless homicide and insurance fraud, both Class C felonies that carry sentences of up to eight years each.

Callahan will also have to make restitution to Kimble’s survivors, $9,699 for funeral and other expenses.

Kimble’s daughter said in her victim’s statement that she wanted to see Callahan get the maximum sentence of eight years in prison, if not more.

Defense attorney Larry Rogers argued that this is Callahan’s first offense and that she maintained she thought she’d hit a deer since the accident happened.

She told police that she’d had some alcoholic drinks earlier in the evening at a friend’s home in Gary before she hit Kimble about 1 a.m.

None of the charges against Callahan include intoxication enhancements.

An autopsy showed Kimble had a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent.



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