Semi Driver Fatigued and Drinking Crashes On I-65
January 20, 2014 — from the Indiana State Police, Lowell Post
Merrillville–A semi driver allegedly fell asleep while driving, this Sunday afternoon, went off the roadway, hitting an informational sign, going down an embankment, and through a fence before coming to rest in a field and waking up.
Preliminary investigation by Senior Trooper Dwayne Halliburton reveals that at approximately 12:03 p.m., this Sunday, January 19, 2014, afternoon, Donald J. Hagen, 52 of Saint Peters, Missouri was driving south bound on I-65 at the 254 mile marker (this is approximately one mile north of the U.S. 30/Merrillville exit) in a 2013 Freightliner semi pulling a box trailer owned by Schneider National Carrier out of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The semi was loaded with 17,000 pounds of empty tin cans. No load was lost.
Hagen stated he was fatigued and “dozed off” when he awoke after driving off the road, hitting a highway informational sign, going down an embankment, through a fence, coming to rest in a field upright before awakening.
Unopened and opened containers of alcohol were found a short distance from the semi. Hagen later admitted to purportedly throwing them there. He also allegedly admitted to drinking alcohol the night before.
Hagen was treated at the scene for minor cuts. During the investigation, troopers found Hagen had a blood alcohol content of .09%. He was cited for Operating While Intoxicated, Driving Fatigued, and Possession of Alcohol Beverages in a Commercial Motor Vehicle.
Hagen was taken to Lake County Jail in Crown Point.
The right lane south bound I-65 was closed for approximately three hours for investigation of the crash and removal of the semi.
[Photo courtesy Indiana State Police]