HAMMOND, Ind. (WANE) Blizzard-like conditions didn’t keep impaired drivers off northwest Indiana interstates during the historic winter storm gripping much of the United States.

Tiffany M. Bergstrom
Tiffany M. Bergstrom

Indiana State Police report three crashes involving drivers suspected of being intoxicated.

The first took place Friday, December 23, at around 6 p.m. on Interstate 94 in Porter County as crews were working to clean up a crash. Troopers saw a car hit a semi and take off. One of the troopers gave chase and found the car in a ditch. The driver refused a breath test at the scene and was taken to a hospital for a chemical test.

Tiffany M. Bergstrom, 32, from Chesterton, IN, was later transported to the Porter County Jail and faces multiple charges.

Frank J. Dado

The second took place at around 6:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve in Jasper County.

A trooper responded to a vehicle that crashed into trees in the southbound lanes. While speaking to the driver, the trooper suspected impairment. A breath test was given at the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and registered .27% BAC.

The driver, Frank J. Dado, 45, of Hammond, was then taken to a medical facility due to his high test results.  Once cleared, he was returned to the sheriff’s department for processing. 

Photo provided by Indiana State Police

During the investigation, it was also determined that Dado had outstanding warrants in Michigan, for Failing to Appear for Driving Under the Influence and will be extradited to Michigan for that offense.

The third arrest happened following a crash at a scale house on I-65 just before 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Troopers responded to 911 calls of a vehicle that had crashed into the I-65 scale house located just north of the Lowell exit. The preliminary investigation determined a black, 2015, Toyota Rav4 drove onto the closed scale ramp at a high rate of speed and struck the yellow gate arm.  The 20-foot-long steel gate pierced the front of the vehicle and exited out the rear of the vehicle.  The driver was not hit by the steel gate and was seen walking around the vehicle following the crash.

The driver’s behavior indicated possible impairment and subsequent investigation. 

The driver, Rebeca L. Claus, 33, from Shelby, IN, was offered the opportunity to take a certified chemical test, but she refused.  She was then transported to Franciscan Hospital in Crown Point where she again refused to submit to any chemical tests.

Claus will be charged with Operating While Intoxicated (Class A Misdemeanor) and Operating While Intoxicated (Class C Misdemeanor).