HEBRON | The driver of a vehicle reported stolen out of DeMotte was transported by medical helicopter to an area trauma center early Wednesday after crashing the vehicle near Hebron.
Officers responded at 5:20 a.m. to U.S. 231, just east of County Line Road for a report of a vehicle in a ditch, said Sgt. Larry LaFlower, spokesman for the Porter County Sheriff's Department.
Officers found a black passenger vehicle in the ditch occupied by the driver, who was seriously injured. The man apparently hit a culvert in the drainage ditch after driving off the road, LaFlower said.
Emergency crews called for a medical helicopter to transport the man to a trauma center for treatment, forcing the temporary closure of U.S. 231.
The road reopened about 7:20 a.m., LaFlower said.
Ryan Cohn, of Hebron, said he was on his way to work when he drove by the scene and made a U-turn to see if he could help.
Another man also had stopped and was calling 911 from a cellphone, he said. Cohn made his way down the embankment to get a better look inside the car and spotted a man who didn't appear to be breathing, he said.
Cohn ran up the embankment to relay information to the 911 caller, then made his way back down, he said. The second time he looked, the driver was taking short, labored breaths, he said.
"I told him to hang in there, don't move, paramedics are on the way," Cohn said. "He was not responding at all. He was just sitting there."
Cohn spotted a child seat in the car and began searching in the culvert and ditch for any sign of a child, he said.
"There was no baby, thank God," he said.
Cohn said police came shortly after, and he went on his way. He was a little late to work, he said.
"It would have eaten me alive all day if I didn't turn around," he said. "I had to turn around."
- Times staff writer Sarah Reese contributed to this report.