Drunk, fatigued truck driver goes off highway

Indiana State Police said a truck driver was drunk and fatigued when his semi drove off I-65 near the Merrillville exit Sunday afternoon.

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana State Police said a truck driver was drunk and fatigued when his semi drove off the interstate Sunday afternoon.

Around 12:03 p.m., Donald Hagen, 52, of Saint Peters, Missouri, was driving south on I-65 at mile marker 254. That is about one mile north of the U.S. 30/Merrillville exit. He was operating a 2013 Freightliner semi pulling a box truck full of 17,000 pounds of empty tin cans.

Hagen told officers he was fatigued and “dozed off.” His semi drove off the road, hit a highway informational sign, went down an embankment, through a fence and came to rest in a field. Hagen said he woke up when the truck stopped. The semi never flipped over.

When officers arrived to the crash scene, they found unopened and opened containers of alcohol a short distance from the semi. Police said Hagen later admitted to throwing them there. He also allegedly said he had been drinking alcohol the night before.

Hagen was treated at the scene for minor cuts. During the investigation, police found Hagen had a blood alcohol content of .09 percent. The legal limit in Indiana is .08 percent.

Hagen was cited for Operating While Intoxicated, Driving Fatigued, and Possession of Alcohol Beverages in a Commercial Motor Vehicle. He was taken to Lake County Jail in Crown Point.

The right lane of the southbound side of I-65 was closed for about three hours while the crash was investigated and the semi was removed.

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