Chesterton Tribune



Two on cycle die in US 20 crash; driver charged with OWI

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A man and a woman died on Wednesday after the motorcycle they were riding on U.S. Highway 20 collided with an SUV whose driver Portage Police said was intoxicated at the time.

The victims were identified as the motorcycle’s operator, Peter R. Jackson, 45, of Portage; and his passenger, Amy Jackson, 44, also of Portage.

The motorist was identified as Cleon C. Stutler Jr., 66, of 215 Willowcreek Road.

According to police, at 6:13 p.m. Stutler was westbound on U.S. 20 when he attempted to make a left turn onto southbound Willowcreek Road and collided with the Jacksons’ Harley-Davidson motorcycle, eastbound on U.S. 20.

Police said that the Jacksons--who had the right-of-way--were both thrown from the motorcycle. Amy Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene, while Peter Jackson was transported to Methodist Hospital Northlake Campus in Gary, where he later died of his injuries, police said. Neither was wearing a helmet, police added.

The crash itself was witnessed by Portage Police Officer L. Stanko, police said.

Stutler, for his part, was treated at the scene with a bandage to the forearm and advised police, “I didn’t even see them, I had the right of way.”

But Stutler showed signs of intoxication, failed several field sobriety tests, and subsequently registered a blood alcohol content of .168 percent on a certified chemical test, police said.

Motorists in Indiana are considered legally intoxicated when they score a B.A.C. of .08 percent or higher.

Stutler was transported to Porter County Jail on a charge of OWI-causing death with a prior conviction, a Level 4 felony punishable by a term of two to 12 years.

“The Portage Crash Team continues to conduct follow-up investigations to ensure a successful prosecution,” Police Chief Troy Williams said in a statement released just before deadline today. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the Jacksons.”


Posted 9/20/2018




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