Police Investigating Fatal Vehicle vs Pedestrian

Porter County Sheriff’s Officers responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian crash on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at approximately 5:51 PM. The crash was located on County Road 600 W south of County Road 100 N in Union Township.

Initial investigation shows a 2007 Dodge sport utility vehicle was traveling southbound on County Road 600 W south of County Road 100 N. The male driver advised he observed a male subject walking northbound in the southbound lane. The driver stated he attempted to maneuver around the male, but ultimately was unable to do so, striking the male subject with his vehicle.

Life-saving measures were attempted on the male pedestrian, but he tragically has passed away. Porter County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Team is on-scene investigating. Avoid the area as it will be closed down for a few hours.

UPDATE – The deceased has been identified as James Brown, 83, of Union Township. Brown was apparently retrieving his mail when he was struck by the vehicle.

Eric Joseph Conley the driver who struck Brown was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death (Level 4 felony / charging paperwork to be filed after meeting with the Prosecutor’s Office), Operating While Intoxicated in a Manner Which Endangers a Person (Class-A misdemeanor), Operating While Intoxicated Controlled Substance (Class-C misdemeanor), and Operating While Intoxicated (Class-C misdemeanor). Eric was left in the care and custody of the Porter County Jail.

Officers investigating detected an odor commonly associated with alcoholic beverages emanating from Conley’s breath. Officers asked Conley if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages, and he stated he consumed two beers approximately an hour and a half prior to the crash. Conley then stated while being processed at the Porter County Jail that he had recently taken Vicodin. Conley stated the Vicodin was not prescribed to him.

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