INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, who has crafted Indiana's biennial budget since 2013 as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was injured Wednesday in what a top lawmaker described as a "serious" motorcycle crash.
According to House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, Brown and state Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, were traveling on their motorcycles in Michigan when a sport utility vehicle pulled in front of the two legislators.
He said Speedy was able to avoid the SUV, but Brown ended up striking the vehicle.
Bosma declined to immediately confirm anything about Brown's condition "out of respect for Tim's family."
But Speedy told the Indianapolis Business Journal that Brown was in a medically-induced coma at a hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, following the crash near the Mackinac Bridge in northern Michigan.
Former state Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek, said on his Facebook page that Brown was not at fault in the crash and Brown was wearing a helmet.
Brown, 62, is a retired emergency room doctor who routinely travels on his motorcycle across Indiana, and the country, when the General Assembly is not in session.
His photos of the trips, which include visits to the graves of nearly every Indiana governor, are posted on Twitter under the hashtag "selfieswithtimbrown."
The most recent image, from Saturday, features Brown posing next to a portrait of another Tim Brown, the acclaimed Notre Dame wide receiver, at the South Bend football stadium. It was tagged "selfieswithtimbrown(s)."
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle encouraged Hoosiers to pray for Brown, who has represented House District 41, located between Lafayette and Indianapolis, since 1994.
"Tim is an invaluable member of our leadership team, a dedicated public servant and one of my most cherished friends," Bosma said. "Our prayers are with him, his family and Rep. Speedy."
Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said he was relieved that Speedy was unharmed in the crash, but saddened to learn that Brown — "one of my most respected colleagues" — was "seriously injured."
"All of our thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Brown and his family as we hope for his full recovery," Lanane said.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said that "in addition to being a public servant and an extraordinary leader, Dr. Tim Brown is a fighter."
"Janet and I are praying for his recovery and ask Hoosiers across the state to join us," Holcomb said.
Besides playing a leading role in determining all state spending, Brown frequently has visited Northwest Indiana to understand the Region's unique needs and work directly with local officials to fund the South Shore Line's double-track and West Lake expansions.