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Porter County driver left trail from hit-and-run crash, police say

Porter County driver left trail from hit-and-run crash, police say

CHESTERTON — Police said solving a recent hit-and-run crash was as easy as following a trail of liquids left behind by the damaged vehicle.

The driver, Daniel Koch, 31, of Chesterton, was arrested and faces a misdemeanor count of leaving the scene of a crash, Chesterton police said.

The chase was captured at 5:49 p.m. Wednesday on a home surveillance camera on South 18th Street. The suspect vehicle can be seen followed by two squad cars.

A resident of the 300 block of West Indiana Avenue told police that around 3 a.m. July 14 he heard a scraping sound outside and discovered a vehicle struck a tree in his yard.

He also saw a pickup truck behind the vehicle, police said. But when the resident returned after getting his glasses, he found that both vehicles were gone.

In addition to finding the tree snapped in half, police said they found a trail of liquid and followed it to a driveway in the 300 block of South 18th Street.

Police said they learned the resident there had towed the damaged vehicle and had placed it in his driveway at the request of the driver, who was a neighbor.

Join Tristan DeFord, Jami Rieck, and Nancy Zakutanksky on a shift working for Superior Ambulance in Merrillville.

The operator of the vehicle in question, later identified as Koch, came forward and reportedly told police he was driving west on Indiana Avenue when he struck what he thought was a bush, police said. He said he panicked and walked to his place of employment and called his neighbor, who towed the vehicle from the scene.

While Koch admitted to have been drinking alcohol earlier in the day and again following the crash, police opted not to pursue charges because of the extended breaks in time.


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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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