A motorist was
arrested Thursday on charges of neglect of a dependent and operating while
intoxicated after initially blaming a cat in the roadway for his crash on an
I-94 exit ramp in Chesterton, the Indiana State Police said.
police, at 9:20 p.m. David R. Sutphin, 23, of North Judson, was attempting
to merge onto U.S. Highway 20 from eastbound I-94 when he lost control on
the ramp and entered a ditch. At the same time, his 20-year-old female
passenger began to have a medical emergency, but Chesterton firefighters and
EMS personnel succeeded in reviving her and transporting her to Porter
Regional Hospital, from which she was later medically released, police said.
children in the vehicle, aged 10 months and 2 1/2 years, escaped uninjured
and were subsequently released to their grandparents, police said.
Sutphin, for his
part, at first advised responding troopers that a cat running across the
ramp was responsible for him losing control of his vehicle, then provided
another statement for the crash (which) gave indicators of impairment,”
One of the
troopers, a certified drug recognition evaluator (DRE)--a law enforcement
officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of
drugs, other than, or in addition to, alcohol--conducted a DRE evaluation on
Sutphin which indicated impairment, police said.
transported to Porter County Jail and charged with two counts of neglect of
a dependent and operating while intoxicated--controlled substance, police
The exit ramp was
closed for approximately an hour, police added.