a case that has some police shocked. A LaPorte man died last weekend
after drinking and driving. The man's blood alcohol level was higher
than most officials have ever seen, .602.
old Michael Garner's pick-up truck collided with an Amtrak train on
County Road 500 in Pinola. That's just west of LaPorte. Over the phone,
Garner's father tells Newscenter 16 that his son was apparently
drinking at home that night. The family learned of their son's death
the morning after it happened. They declined to say much more about the
Sullivan, LaPorte County Chief Deputy Coroner, says he ran Garner's
blood alcohol level a couple of times because he couldn't believe the
numbers. Police say Garner drove at least seven miles, through snowy
weather, before crashing into the Amtrak passenger train. Officials say
the train tried to stop, but couldn't with such little notice.
Fortunately, no one on that train was injured in this accident.
says he's surprised Garner didn't succumb to acute alcohol poisoning
before getting behind the wheel. He says this should be a lesson to
everyone about the extreme dangers of mixing alcohol and the road.
“It's the highest one I've ever recorded. At the hospital lab, they
also said they couldn't recall one that high. Anywhere from .3 on up on
the blood alcohol percentage, it changes your ability to react, your
reasoning and just your general ability to function,” says Sullivan.
seen them high, but never in the 6's, several in the 5's, but over 40
years-- this is the highest one I recall hearing or seeing,” says
LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer.
does have a history with drinking and driving. He was charged with an
OWI in 1999. In 2001, he was also charged twice for OWI. During one of
those stops, he was also charged with driving on a suspended license.
is help for anyone that might have a problem with alcohol or knows
someone who does. Here are some sites recommended to Newscenter 16 by
the Madison Center of South Bend.
a link to a site where you can test yourself to see if you, or a loved
one, might have a problem with drugs or alcohol
Madison Center (Quiet Care: ask for Sue) 574-283-1751
Alcoholics Anonymous (South Bend & Mishawaka) 574-234-7007