Dentist charged with fatal ambulance crash
La PORTE COUNTY — A Porter County dentist is facing several felonies after allegedly crashing into an ambulance and killing a patient in La Porte County.
Jefferey Bilyak, 46, of Chesterton, is being charged with a Level 4 felony count of operating while intoxicated-causing death, and a Level 5 felony count for reckless homicide as a result of a traffic accident in southern La Porte County.
According to a press release from La Porte County Prosecuting Attorney John Espar, the incident occurred at about 12:45 p.m. Feb. 15, when Bilyak was allegedly northbound near the 20000 south block of U.S. 421, and attempted to pass a semi. The incident occurred during reduced visibility conditions. La Porte County was under a travel advisory and a dense fog was causing visibility to be less than a quarter mile.
Shortly after entering the southbound lane, Bilyak’s truck allegedly collided head on with an ambulance heading southbound with a critical patient needing medical attention at a hospital in Indianapolis.
Bilyak, the ambulance driver, ambulance attendant and patient were all transported to Porter Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the crash. The 47-year-old female patient reportedly died the following day from the trauma she sustained from her crash injuries. The three survivors, including Bilyak, all reportedly received serious bodily injuries.
During the course of the investigation, deputies and detectives from the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department allegedly determined Bilyak’s blood alcohol content to be .173 shortly after the crash. In addition to charges related to the transport patient’s death, Bilyak is also charged with two Level 5 felony counts for operating while intoxicated-causing serious bodily injury to the ambulance driver and attendant.
Espar noted that all of the charges are accusations at this point and Bilyak is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
—From staff reports