JACKSON COUNTY, Ind. — Indiana State Representative Jim Lucas had the smell of alcohol on his breath after he drove his truck through two guardrails and was found by state troopers walking alongside State Road 11, a crash report details.
According to the Indiana State Police’s crash report, Lucas drove his 2012 Toyota Tundra through two guardrails after driving off an overpass at State Road 11 and Interstate 65 before he circled his truck back around and drove up the interstate on-ramp in the wrong direction.
State Rep. Lucas, who serves House District 69, would later tell police he was swerving to dodge a deer and lost control of his vehicle, according to the report.
State troopers said Lucas’s Tundra was heavily damaged and only had one intact tire when it was found near Redding Road and State Road 11, nearly three miles from the site of the crash.
According to the report, the Tundra had extensive front end damage to the grill and bumper. The front driver side and rear passenger side tires were completely gone, police reported, with the rims damaged and worn from being driven on for a long distance. The front passenger side tire was blown out, but still attached to the wheel.
Lucas reportedly told state troopers that after crashing he continued to drive down State Road 11 because he thought he could make it home, despite three flat tires.
Police found the Tundra parked behind a carpet business. Lucas told police he parked there to avoid an oil leak in the front parking lot.
Police reported a “prominent trail” from the crash scene to the resting spot of the Tundra that made locating the vehicle easy. Plastic debris, a liquid trail, scratch marks in the road from the rim and more led police to the carpet business and the Indiana representative’s abandoned truck.
State troopers reported conducting a field sobriety test on Lucas. Between “clues shown in those tests” and the smell of alcohol on this breath, troopers determined Lucas to be intoxicated.
A blood draw was taken by the results have not yet been released.
Lucas’s Tundra was towed by a wrecker service and the state rep. was taken to Jackson County Jail where he bonded out shortly afterward. He faces two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and one count of leaving the scene of a crash.
Lucas has not responded to requests for comment on the matter.
State House Speaker Todd Huston refused to comment on the “personal matter.”
Governor Eric Holcomb weighed in by stating, ”That’s for him and I hope he gets the help he needs and that would be for the General Assembly to decide. There would be a process if it happened in the Executive branch that we would follow but I won’t prejudge the outcome before he’s offered his day in court.”
Lucas was first elected to the Statehouse in 2012 and has been a high-profile lawmaker on issues of gun rights and marijuana decriminalization.
Lucas represents House District 69 which includes portions of Bartholomew, Jackson, Washington and Scott counties.