JACKSON COUNTY — A crash report obtained by WRTV gives more details into the arrest of State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-District 69) for Operating while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a crash.
Indiana State Police said they responded to a call on Wednesday, May 31 just after midnight for a report of a vehicle that had struck the guardrail and went the wrong way on the I-65 ramp.
According to the crash report, when police arrived the vehicle was gone but they found the guardrail lying in the road, tire tracks in the grass, plastic vehicle debris and a trail of fluid.
Police said the trail of fluid continued north on I-65 and then appeared to head southgoing the wrong direction on the entrance ramp from State Road 11.
Moments later, a Seymour Police officer said they found a damaged vehicle and driver behind a local carpet business, north of Seymour.
The vehicle, a gray 2012 Toyota Tundra had extensive front end damage to the grill and bumper, no tires on the front driver side or the rear passenger side. according to the police report. The rims were also worn down to the metal and a front passenger tire that was blown out.
The driverwas found walking away from the vehicle on State Road 11. That man was later identified as Lucas.
According to the crash report,Lucas refused to answer any questions at firstBut he later provided a statement to the state trooper saying he swerved to miss a deer and lost control of the vehicle. He also said he thought he could make it home, which is why he left the scene of the crash and continued to drive with three flat tires. When asked why he parked behind the business, Lucas told the trooper that he didn't want to leak oil in front of the business and cause the business to lose customers.
(The video above is from a previous report)
The preliminary investigation, according to the police report, found that Lucas was driving south on State Road 11 when he left the road, traveled down a large hill and hit the guardrail, pushing it into the right lane of I-65 north. Lucas then allegedly kept driving across all three lanes of I-65 north and struck the median guardrail. Then, after doing a U-turn and driving the wrong way on the entrance ramp, Lucas drove almost three miles before parking his truck behind the carpet business.
The responding officer said in his report that Lucas smelled of alcohol and there had been probable cause to believe he was intoxicated.
Lucas was taken to a local hospital for a blood draw, those results are still pending. He was booked in the Jackson County jail on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a crash with property damage.
Lucas represents District 69 in Indiana which covers portions of Jackson, Bartholomew, Scott and Washington counties.