Authorities in LaPorte County say road rage may have been a factor in a fatal two-vehicle Sunday night crash near Union Mills. Michael Edwards, 38, of LaPorte, died en route to a medical helicopter that had been summoned to the crash site in the 8500 block of County Road 600 West. The second driver, Bryan Baker, 21, of Hobart, was treated at IU Health LaPorte Hospital and released.
Officials with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department say the incident started on State Road 2 near Valpariso and continued east into LaPorte County, where the drivers eventually wound up on 800 South. Shortly after both vehicles turned south onto 600 West, they say Edwards tried to pass Baker’s car. The vehicles collided, and Baker ran off the road into a field. Edwards’ car went off the west side of the road and struck a utility pole before coming to rest in a farm field. That happened just after 9 p.m. Sunday night.
Sheriff’s department officials say blood draws on both men indicated traces of alcohol, but not enough for them to be considered driving under the influence. The investigation is continuing, and the road is now open again to traffic.