LIBERTY TOWNSHIP | A 33-year-old Chesterton man who led officers on a chase early Thursday died when he crashed his motorcycle into a tree, police said.
Timothy Gajdik was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering a severed leg and other injuries, police said.
About 3:15 a.m. Thursday, a Portage police officer on patrol spotted a speeding motorcycle on Hamstrom Road at Fallen Timbers Avenue and began following it as the driver sped down Airport Road and then Robbins Road.
The officer said Gajdik disregarded a number of stop signs and flew past two Porter County sheriff's officers who were wrapping up an unrelated traffic stop on Robbins and Samuelson roads.
Those county officers joined in the pursuit as the motorcycle crossed Ind. 149.
The county officers said that about a quarter-mile east of Ind. 149, they saw a cloud of dust in the road. The Portage officer then reported seeing a body in the middle of the road with its right leg severed at the knee and a large open wound atop the man's head. The officer also reported broken pieces of a motorcycle helmet scattered in the road and the man's mangled motorcycle in a wooded area along with several broken branches.
County police said they believe Gajdik struck a tree off the south side of County Road 875 North and was thrown from his motorcycle.
Police said the Porter County coroner's office will be conducting toxicology tests to determine whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash