Chesterton Tribune

Union Twp. man charged with three felonies in crash killing jogger

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A Union Township man is facing three felony charges in connection with an accident this summer which took the life of a jogger.

On Monday, Joseph R. Ruwaldt, 20, of 322W 100N, was booked into the Porter County Jail on charges of operating while intoxicated-causing death; operating with a controlled substance or its metabolite in the system; and reckless homicide, all Class C felonies punishable by a term of two to six years.

Ruwaldt was also charged with five misdemeanors, including possession of marijuana.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Officer Meredith Brockman of the Porter County Sheriff’s Police, at 7:38 a.m. July 31, Ruwaldt was eastbound on C.R. 100N when he left the roadway in the area of C.R. 350W, and struck a Garry Bradley, who was running eastbound on the north edge of the roadway.

Bradley “was thrown up onto the hood” of Ruwaldt’s truck, “carried for a distance, and then fell to the ground,” Brockman stated in the affidavit. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Ruwaldt, for his part, advised police that he had “dozed off” and on opening his eyes again “saw a runner in front of his truck just before the crash” but was unable to avoid collision.

Ruwaldt also advised police that he had not been drinking but had smoked marijuana the previous day and that he’d stayed up to 2 a.m. that morning before waking at 7 a.m.

Brockman noted in the affidavit that this stretch of C.R. 100N is posted at 35 miles per hour. “Based on the reconstruction in this case the truck was traveling at approximately 65 miles per hour at the time the GMC left the roadway,” Brockman stated. “Additionally, at the time it entered back onto the roadway, leaving the grass, it was traveling approximately 52 miles per hour. This was the approximate speed at point of impact with Mr. Bradley.”

Ruwaldt subsequently tested positive for marijuana in his blood, at 8.82 ng/ml, Brockman stated.


Posted 11/22/2011