Cops: Man drove off after fatally hitting man crawling out of rolled-over SUV

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Two men were killed in a series of crashes after an initial rollover crash in northwest Indiana. | Indiana State police

A Maywood man has been charged with leaving the scene of a crash early Saturday after he hit two men who were crawling out of their rolled-over SUV on Interstate 80/94 in northwest Indiana.

Joshua Davis | Indiana State Police

Joshua Davis | Indiana State Police

The initial rollover crash happened about 4:10 a.m. when a 2002 Ford Explorer sideswiped a semi-truck while traveling east on I-80/94 near Grant Street in Gary, according to a statement from Indiana State Police Sergeant Ann Wojas.

The Explorer, occupied by three people, rolled over onto its roof, police said. The driver, 31-year-old Nathaniel McIntee of Merrillville, and the passenger, 34-year-old Jason Howard of Detroit, crawled out of the SUV and tried to help the backseat passenger, McIntee’s 29-year-old brother.

As they crawled out, a passing Volkswagen Passat hit the Explorer then went onto the shoulder and hit a 2004 Honda Pilot whose driver had stopped to help the three men involved in the initial crash, police said. The driver of the Volkswagen got out of his vehicle then immediately got back in and drove away.

Another driver, a 34-year-old man in a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe, said he saw a car in front of him hit the brakes and swerve to the right, and he did the same, police said. In that sequence, both McIntee and Howard were struck while outside of their SUV. Both McIntee and Howard were pronounced dead at the scene at 5:24 a.m., according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office.

The driver of the Santa Fe was taken to North Lake Methodist Hospital in Gary with injuries that weren’t believed to be life-threatening, police said. The third passenger in the Explorer, McIntee’s brother, was also taken to North Lake Methodist for treatment. He was expected to survive.

Saturday evening, state police received a tip about the driver of the Volkswagen from a local police department.

A Volkswagen Passat was heavily damaged when the driver crashed into a rolled-over SUV and struck a man in northwest Indiana. | Indiana State Police

A Volkswagen Passat was heavily damaged when the driver crashed into a rolled-over SUV and struck a man in northwest Indiana. | Indiana State Police

A local salvage yard had been called to pick up a dark-gray 2006 Volkswagen Passat that the owner wanted to scrap, police said. The owner told the tow truck driver that the car had been involved in the crash. The tow truck driver paid for the car and towed it back to the yard then called police.

A detective went to the address in the 2200 block of Carolina Street where the car was towed and spoke to a resident, police said. While talking to the resident, the owner of the Passat turned himself in.

Joshua Davis, 27, was taken into custody and charged with a felony count of leaving the scene of a crash causing death, police said. Davis, of west suburban Maywood, was driving on a suspended license when he was believed to have hit the Explorer and McIntee, who was standing outside at the time.

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