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State trooper struck while investigating crash

The trooper is expected to make a full recovery after being struck by a vehicle while investigating a crash on a northwestern Indiana highway.

HAMMOND, Ind. — An Indiana State trooper is recovering after being struck by a vehicle Sunday morning in northwestern Indiana while investigating a crash on an interstate.

Police were called to investigate a multiple vehicle crash on I-80/94 eastbound at the 1.7 mile-marker in Hammond, Indiana. 

Police said the right three lanes were blocked as a result of the crash, and Trooper Jarah Burgin parked his fully marked police car behind the disabled vehicle with its emergency lights activated. Police spread out 30 flares on the roadway to block the lanes.

Despite these safety precautions, a tan 2007 Buick driven by Jennifer A. Spikes, 35, from Gary, struck Burgin's police car as he was about to get in it. The Buick then struck Burgin, throwing him into the air and striking the windshield of the Buick before the vehicle eventually stopped.

Burgin and Spikes were both taken to the hospital.

Burgin sustained serious injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.

Spikes refused all tests to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash, so a search warrant for a blood draw was obtained through the Lake County Prosecutor's Office. The results of the test are pending.

Spikes was released from the hospital and taken to the Lake County Jail, where she is facing the following charges: 

  • O.W.I. Causing Injury- Level 5 Felony
  • O.W.I. Endangering a Person- Class A Misdemeanor
  • O.W.I. – Class C Misdemeanor
  • Driving While Suspended Causing Injury- Level 6 Felony
  • Failing to Yield to Emergency Vehicle- Infraction

State Police said this is the third time in three weeks that a trooper has been struck by a vehicle while investigating a crash.

Hammond is located roughly 160 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

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