Chesterton Tribune



ISP: Man blames cat for crash charged with OWI

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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.

According to 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.

Meanwhile, two 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, police said.

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.

Sutphin was transported to Porter County Jail and charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent and operating while intoxicated--controlled substance, police said.

The exit ramp was closed for approximately an hour, police added.


Posted 4/19/2019





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