LAKE COUNTY, Ind. — A used-car salesman got more than he bargained for when a test drive turned into a kidnapping that culminated in a crash with a tractor-trailer Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 11.
About 4:30 p.m., the Indiana State Police (ISP) Lowell Regional Dispatch Center received a 911 from a passenger in a 2009 Kia Borrego traveling near the 10-mile marker on Interstate 80/94.
The caller, a salesperson from Bosco Family Motors, a car dealership in Hobart, Indiana, said he was being held against his will in the vehicle, which had been taken for a test drive by the suspect. The suspect was reported to be driving at a high rate of speed and refusing to pull over to let the victim get out of the vehicle.
While the victim was talking to 911 dispatchers, the driver of the Kia rear-ended a tractor-trailer at a high rate of speed. The impact resulted in the Kia catching on fire and the victim being partially trapped inside the vehicle. The victim was pulled to safety by passersby, and ISP troopers put out the vehicle fire.
The alleged driver of the Kia, LaDarien D. Gregory, 29, of Hammond, Indiana, was found walking away from the scene. Both the Gregory and the victim were transported to Northlake Hospital in Gary, Indiana, for treatment. The driver of the semi was not injured.
The victim was later flown to Loyola University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The suspect has since been released and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he is being held on a probable cause hold for charges to be determined by the Lake County Prosecutor.
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