Pot-smoking driver slams into police car

Nappanee Police Officer Bradley A. Balasa, 36, of Nappanee, escaped serious injury the morning of Aug. 20 when his squad car was slammed by a motorist who admitted to smoking marijuana prior to the incident.
Gavin Thomas Byall, 20, Mishawaka, was jailed on a preliminary charge of operating while intoxicated and reckless driving.
Officer Balasa was on patrol around 12:50 a.m., Aug. 20, and had just passed the Elkhart-Kosciusko county line on Indiana 19 southbound when he noticed a vehicle approaching from behind at a high rate of speed.
Balasa was attempting to turn at the intersection of Ind. 19 and Haney Drive in Kosciusko County, when the vehicle driven by Byall slammed into the rear of his marked squad car. Byall’s vehicle traveled another 200 feet off the roadway following impact before coming to rest.
Balasa was transported to an Elkhart County hospital and released for treatment of minor injuries. Byall, police said, refused treatment at the scene. Police said he told officers he had smoked marijuana prior to the crash.
Byall was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail and was held on $500 bond.

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