Gary man fatally struck at BBQ by suspected drunk driver

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- A suspected drunk driver is being questioned after police say he ran over someone at a barbeque in Gary.

The driver allegedly backed into Ronald Mayes in the 3800-block of Massachusetts Street on Tuesday night, killing the father of two.

Mayes, 48, had worked for the last three years at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, where he had worked his way up to operations supervisor. At the food bank, Mayes was known as the employee who never stopped working.

"It didn't matter if it was a weekend, Sunday, morning, noon or night, Ron was showing up at the food bank making sure everything was working well, functioning, that we can make sure that food is gonna get out to those food-insecure people in Lake and Porter County," said Arlene Peterson, executive director, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.

Residents in the Gary neighborhood said Mayes was at a cookout standing on the sidewalk along with several others when one of the people at the party got in his car to leave and backed his vehicle straight into Mayes. Police said the driver may have been intoxicated.

"We just saw a car spinning seven times in a 360, and hit the grass," said Dante Dudley, a witness.

Witnesses said the car went completely out-of-control and hit several other parked vehicles before it finally came to a stop. Gary police said that most of the driver's injuries were a result of the beating he received from residents.

"His vehicle came to a rest and we believe that several subjects on the scene took him out of the vehicle and battered him on the scene," said Sgt. Greg Wolf, Gary Police Dept.

Mayes' coworkers at the food bank said his passion and commitment for the job is irreplaceable.

"He made the day every time he walked into the door," Peterson said.

In addition to his food bank family, Mayes is survived by his wife and two children.

The driver was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he remains in police custody. No charges have been filed.

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