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Man hit, killed by sheriff’s department vehicle on I-74 identified

A wrecker at the scene of a fatal crash on EB I-74 in Hendricks County on Aug. 14, 2023. (WISH Photo/Reece Lindquist)

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — The man who was hit and killed by a Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Aug. 14 has been identified by the Hendricks County coroner as 21-year-old Mateo Ruiz-Gomez.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m. Aug. 14, Brownsburg police were dispatched to Interstate 74 eastbound near the 69.5-mile marker on a report of a pedestrian struck.

Officers learned from initial investigation that a Toyota, driven by Ruiz-Gomez, traveling west on the highway left the roadway and collided with the median cable barrier.

Ruiz-Gomez got out of the Toyota and walked into the eastbound lanes of I-74 for “reasons unknown,” Brownsburg Police Department said in a release.

Hendrick’s County Sheriff’s Deputy Damen Owens then hit Ruiz-Gomez with his police vehicle. Investigators do not believe the deputy was impaired.

“The deputy remained on scene and was transported to Hendricks Regional Hospital in Brownsburg where a voluntary and consensual blood draw was administered,” Brownsburg police said.

Brownsburg police shared in a release Wednesday that investigators believe alcohol may have been a factor in Ruiz-Gomez’s crash.

All lanes of I-74 eastbound between 56th Street and County Road North 1000 East were blocked for more than three hours.

This story has been updated with the identity of the deputy.