Impaired Driver leads Troopers on Pursuit/Crash in Construction Zone

Impaired Driver leads Troopers on Pursuit/Crash in Construction Zone


At approximately 2:15 AM Trooper Hansen was working in the area of I-65 northbound near Ridge Road. Trooper Hansen was assisting a construction company conducting road repairs with traffic direction and protecting the crew from passing traffic.

Trooper Hansen was sitting in the middle of an area where the roadway is divided with his emergency lights activated.

This area is marked by an arrow board, multiple signs, construction barrels, and a temporary concrete barrier wall. A black 2007 Toyota Camry driven by Rosa Sawyer, 33,  of Marion, Iowa ran over multiple construction barrels next to Trooper Hansen and then drove into the closed off area where workers were doing repairs.

Trooper Hansen immediately gave chase to the Toyota which failed to yield to his emergency lights and siren.

Sawyer lead Trooper Hansen on a pursuit at speeds of 80 miles per hour, drove over holes in the concrete about 5 inches deep and up to 2 feet wide, and nearly struck a street sweeping vehicle head all while traveling at 80 miles per hour.

Sawyer came to a stop after approximately a one mile pursuit voluntarily about 40 yards from the construction crew, many of whom had their backs to Sawyer’s vehicle. 

At one point during the pursuit, Trooper Hansen thought he was going to have to ram the suspect vehicle in order to stop it and potentially save the worker’s lives.  Sawyer was taken into custody without incident.

Trooper Hansen’s main objective was to warn the construction crew of the oncoming vehicle by using his lights and siren in a hope that the workers would see the vehicle and be able to run for safety.  No workers were injured.

After an investigation, Sawyer was transported and remanded to Lake County Jail in Crown Point, Indiana. Multiple charges will be presented to the Lake County Prosecutors Office to include Resisting Arrest with a Vehicle, Operating While Intoxicated (Endangerment), and Leaving the Scene of a Crash.

There were approximately 20 workers in the area at the time. This is the same area where a worker lost his life last fall. The Indiana State Police would remind drivers to please slow down, read and comply with the warning signs, and do not drink and drive.

Assisting at the scene was Sgt. Dillahunty, Troopers Partyka, Carlson, Walton, and Brasseur, Lowell Regional Dispatch and Midnight Blue Towing.

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.