Local News

Winamac man charged with intoxicated driving after crashing into Indiana State Prison gate

It could be said that a Winamac man turned himself in to law enforcement.


About 6:00 pm Tuesday the LaPorte County Dispatch Center received a call of a possible impaired driver on U.S. 421 in the Michigan City area.  Attempts to locate the vehicle, a Chevrolet Silverado, were initially unsuccessful.  Minutes later, the dispatch center received calls of a vehicle matching the Silverado’s description, had driven through the main gate of the Indiana State Prison.  The vehicle was eventually stopped, and the Indiana State Police were requested to the scene to investigate the incident. 


During the crash investigation, it was determined that the subject had consumed alcoholic beverages and field sobriety tests were conducted.  Later, a certified chemical test for intoxication was administered, with the driver registering .14% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). 


The driver, Robert D. Merriman, 62, of Winamac, was incarcerated at the LaPorte County Jail.  He is preliminarily charged with:


Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (Endangering)- Class A Misdemeanor

Operating While Intoxicated- Class C Misdemeanor

Criminal Trespass- Class A Misdemeanor


Assisting at the scene was the Michigan City Police Department, Indiana State Prison and Ace Auto.