CHICAGO, IL – A Hobart man has been charged with multiple felonies after striking a pedestrian with his vehicle on I-80/94 eastbound. The incident occurred on Friday, March 31st, at around 11:00 p.m. near the 10.4 mile-marker, east of Grant St.
According to Trooper Kay Galvan and Trooper Riley Hieb, who conducted the preliminary investigation, a semi pulled over to the side of the roadway, and the driver was struck by a passing vehicle. Witnesses who saw the crash tried to help the victim, but were unable to remove him from under the semi.
Further investigation revealed that the driver of the semi was standing in the right lane, working on his trailer when he was hit. There were no shoulders in the area as the roadway was under construction, and the trailer was partially on the grass and partially in the far-right lane.
The driver of the silver Dodge van that struck the pedestrian was identified as 41-year-old Robert M. Ballard. During the investigation, troopers suspected that Mr. Ballard was impaired. He refused to submit to a certified chemical test, but a blood draw warrant was granted by a Lake County Judge, and the blood draw was completed at a local medical facility.
The pedestrian suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to a hospital in Chicago due to the extent of his injuries. Mr. Ballard has been preliminarily charged with several offenses, including operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, endangering, and misdemeanors.