SYRACUSE — The driver accused of striking and killing a construction worker in July is facing a criminal charge.
Joshua E. Ratliff, 33, 7232 E. CR 650N, North Webster, is charged with operating a vehicle causing death, a level 4 felony. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Tests taken after the accident indicated he had methamphetamine in his system.
At 1:51 p.m. Friday, July 26, Benjamin Fisher, 29, Plymouth, and a coworker were removing road construction signs along SR 13 in a utility pole project area north of East Waco Drive, Syracuse. Fisher and his coworker were loading the signs into a pickup, which was parked facing south along the west side of SR 13. Ratliff was driving a Ford F150 traveling south on SR 13.
Preliminary results of the investigation show that Fisher was struck by the F150 while walking along the driver’s side of the Silverado. After the initial collision, Fisher was thrown into the driver’s side of the Silverado.
Fisher was pronounced dead at the scene by the Kosciusko County Coroner’s Office.
Ratliff submitted to a blood test at the scene and was taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital for a blood draw. Results of the test showed that Ratliff was operating a vehicle with a controlled substance – methamphetamine – in his blood.
A $6,000 surety and cash bond is set in this case.