COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City man was arrested Sunday after leaving the scene of his girlfriend’s accident and operating a vehicle during a lifetime suspension, two felonies.
According to a witness, Lyle Orr, 46, of 517 N. Oak St. in Columbia City, allegedly drug his unconscious girlfriend off the road after she crashed her moped in the area of CR 300 E and Old Trail Rd.
“He stated he witnessed a man drag a female by one arm off the roadway and into the ditch,” Indiana State Police Trooper Joel Lemmon’s case report said.
When Lemmon arrived on the scene, he said he found an unresponsive female, Vicki Johnson of Columbia City, lying on her back in the ditch.
“I could see blood coming from her ear and could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from her breath,” Lemmon said in his report.
Though breathing, Jackson was barely able to open her eyes after Lemmon attempted to bring her to consciousness. It was later determined that Johnson had a skull fracture.
“I noticed a large blood stain in the middle of the roadway, just to the south of where the body was laying,” Lemmon said. “There were drag marks of blood to the north side of the road to where she was lying.”
According to witnesses who allegedly spoke with Orr, the suspect said he was having fuel problems, and that was the reason he was stopped on the road with two mopeds. The witnesses did not see Johnson in the ditch.
The witnesses said Orr appeared to be intoxicated because his speech was slurred.
The couple was allegedly on their way back home to their residence in Columbia City from a friend’s house at Miami Village owned by Dennis Luna.
According to Luna, he asked Johnson to stay with him because she said Orr hit her earlier in the day.
“I noticed the injury on her nose and it appeared she had been struck. It was dried and appeared to be a wound previous to the crash,” Lemmon said in a case report.
According to Lemmon, a nurse at Parkview North in Fort Wayne said Johnson’s skull fracture was not related to the accident.
Johnson’s blood alcohol level was recorded at .35 at the hospital, more than four times the legal limit.
Orr went missing for several hours. After checking multiple locations, Lemmon received a call from Luna, who said Orr called him and told him he was hiding in his house on Oak St.
While attempting to get a search warrant for Orr’s house, Columbia City Police Officers saw Orr walk out of his residence, and he was detained.
According to Lemmon’s report, when asked why he left her lying in a ditch, Orr responded with, “because I couldn’t help her.”
Though Orr appeared to be driving a moped, legal under his habitual traffic violator (HTV) license suspension, the bike was technically qualified as a motorcycle, and Orr was charged with operating while suspended (Class C felony) on top of his charge of leaving the scene of an accident (Class D felony).
Orr is being held at the Whitley County Jail on a $38,000, 10 percent bond.
Johnson may face charges of felony operating while intoxicated, according to Lemmon.