SOUTH BEND — A man accused of striking and killing an Elkhart construction-zone worker near Lakeville earlier this week has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and causing a death.
Killed in the crash Tuesday morning was Ernest Lewis, 65, an employee of a traffic-control company who was placing traffic cones on the highway.
Gary Matthew Carnicom, 54, of Jones, Michigan, was charged with two felony counts in connection with the crash on S.R. 931 near Lakeville, according to the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office.
He was charged with causing death while operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the blood, a Level 4 felony, and with reckless operation of a vehicle in a highway work zone, a Level 5 felony.
An initial hearing for Carnicom was scheduled for Thursday.
Police said Carnicom was traveling north on S.R. 931 in the outside lane. Cones as well as an arrow indicated drivers should merge to the left to avoid utility pole maintenance workers, police said, but Carnicom continued to drive in the outside lane and struck Lewis, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
A witness told police that Carnicom did not brake until after the collision, according to the probable cause affidavit filed with the charges.
Court documents also say Carnicom admitted he had smoked methamphetamine the night before the crash, which occurred at 9:37 a.m.