A Porter man died
early this morning of injuries sustained when he crashed his motorcycle on
U.S. Highway 20 while being pursued by a Porter County Sheriff’s Police
officer, the Indiana State Police said.
The man was
identified as Michael Jozwiak, 48.
According to the
ISP, at 11:45 p.m. Jozwiak was westbound on U.S. 20 when, in the area of
Wagner Road, the PCSP officer attempted to perform a traffic stop on him for
an improperly displayed license plate.
“When the officer
activated his emergency lights, the motorcycle accelerated and gave no
indication of attempting to stop or pull over,” the ISP said.
The pursuit ended
when Jozwiak, traveling at a high rate of speed, lost control of his 1994
cafe-style Honda at the westbound I-94 on-ramp, was ejected, and landed on
the westbound I-94 off-ramp, the ISP said.
not wearing a helmet--was transported to Porter Regional Hospital, where he
was pronounced dead of blunt force trauma at 12:30 a.m., Porter County
Coroner Chuck Harris told the Chesterton Tribune today. The results
of a routine toxicology screen are pending, Harris added.
In his report,
released late this morning by the PCSP, the officer who attempted to perform
a traffic stop on Jozwiak stated the following: “(T)he motorcycle in front
of me appeared to be swerving within its lane. I then caught up to the
motorcycle and attempted to read the license plate but was unable to do so
because the plate was improperly displayed. The plate was mounted vertically
and in a way that I was unable to read (it). As I traveled in the right
lane, a few car lengths behind the motorcycle, I witnessed the driver look
over his shoulder and see that it was a police vehicle following him.”
At this point the
officer notified dispatch that he was initiating a traffic stop on Jozwiak
and proceeded to activate his emergency lights, prompting Jozwiak to
accelerate, the officer stated in his report. “While pursuing the motorcycle
we entered a work-zone area near Mineral Springs (Road) in which the driver
of the motorcycle began to drive in the eastbound lane. While pursuing the
motorcycle in this work zone I witnessed the motorcycle strike two traffic
barrels before getting back into the westbound lanes. The pursuit continued
on U.S. 20 at speeds ranging from 80 mph to 100 mph with no other westbound
“As the pursuit
passed the (Travel America North) service station, the driver switched from
the left lane to the right lane,” the officer stated. “I then continued
pursuing in the left lane. The driver of the motorcycle then appeared to
keep looking over his right shoulder to see my location. The driver
continued past the entry ramp to westbound I-94 and left the roadway,
causing the driver to be thrown from the motorcycle.”
The ISP said that
both I-94 ramps were closed until approximately 2:20 a.m. for reconstruction
of the crash. Also responding to the scene were the Burns Harbor, Porter,
and Chesterton police departments, the Porter and Burns Harbor fire
departments, and PRH EMS.