LIGONIER —Longtime West Noble high school teacher and cross country and track coach Chuck Schlemmer was seriously injured late Friday afternoon when he was struck by a vehicle while he was riding his bicycle just outside of Ligonier.
The accident occurred on River Road south of C.R. 900N.
Daughter Liz Schlemmer said her father suffered a brain injury, broken bones and a collapsed lung. He was airlifted to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne, where he was listed in serious condition Saturday night.
The Noble County Sheriff’s Department issued a report that said Schlemmer was allegedly hit by a white 2017 GMC U-Haul box truck driven by Ryan Gravit, 45, LaGrange.
Gravit allegedly left the scene and was later located in Ligonier, police said. The van was described as having sustained “heavy damage” to its windshield.
Gravit faces a preliminary charge of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, a Level 4 felony.
Schlemmer, 58, is well known in the West Noble Community. He grew up in the area and returned to teach at the high school following college.
Schlemmer spent 24 years coaching at West Noble, 20 of those as the head coach for the girls cross-country and boys track and field programs. His teams won seven cross country sectional championships and several conference championships.
Schlemmer retired from coaching in 2017 but continued to teach social studies.
The accident remains under investigation. Additional charges could be pending, Noble County Sheriff Max Weber said.