Driver recalls OWI crash with former superintendent

Rear-ended driver says Bourke tried to leave scene

INDIANAPOLIS - A Kendallville driver said he had no idea the man who ran into the back of his car was, at the time, the executive director of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents and a former school administrator.

Dr. Walter Bourke was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.26 percent when he rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped at a stop light in Kendallville the night of Oct. 21, according to a police report.

"It was crazy," said Zachary Hartsock, who estimated Bourke was driving 40 mph when he was hit. "I ended up going to the hospital to get checked out."

Hartsock said Bourke was stumbling physically and verbally, and initially tried to get away.

"I told him, 'You stay right there,'" said Hartsock, who said he called police as soon as he got out of the car.

Hartsock said he did not know of Bourke's position until contacted by RTV6 for comment.

"It's shocking," said Hartsock. "People need to stop driving drunk."

Hartsock did not suffer any injuries in the crash and does not plan on filing a lawsuit.

Bourke has since stepped down from his position with IAPSS.

Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney began investigating Monday after learning that Bourke had stepped down as the executive director of IAPSS after three months on the job, citing personal reasons.

Kenney pressed Bourke to explain why he was leaving the job.

"I have some personal problems I need to overcome and I couldn't take care of those while working for the organization," Bourke told Kenney before the OWI charge came to light. "When I resolve issues, I'll make decisions about my future."

Bourke retired from the Franklin Township Community School Corporation earlier this year after leading the district since 2006.

Before that, Bourke served as assistant superintendent in the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation and worked as the director of secondary education for Lawrence Township Schools.

The IAPSS said in a statement that Bourke had resigned and that a search for a new executive director would begin immediately.

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