(Michigan City, IN) - The La Porte County Coroner is facing drunk driving allegations following a single-vehicle crash over the weekend.
Lynn Swanson, 67, of Michigan City has been charged in La Porte Superior Court 4 with two counts of Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated.
According to court records, the most serious count is a Class A misdemeanor for having an alleged blood alcohol level above .15 percent.
The crash happened at roughly 9 p.m. this past Friday outside the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets mall in Michigan City at 601 Wabash Street.
According to Michigan City Police, Swanson was not injured in the accident. However, the front end of her 2014 Dodge Journey was heavily damaged from striking the entrance sign to the mall on the city’s northwest side. There was also considerable damage to the undercarriage of her vehicle, which traveled through some landscaping before hitting the sign hard enough to knock it slightly off its concrete base.
Swanson had already called for a tow truck before responding officers arrived. There, Swanson reportedly told investigators she was heading home from Three Sheets Bar and Grill at 227 West Barker Avenue, just west of Franklin Street. She also said that she was trying to get to nearby Michigan Boulevard “the back way,” but didn’t know how the crash occurred.
When asked how much alcohol she had consumed, Swanson allegedly said “too much."
Judging by tire markings from her car, Swanson was westbound on 4th Street but, instead of turning on Wabash Street, she went straight through the intersection toward the entrance to the mall. After leaving the road, her car proceeded over some landscaping before striking the sign. As a result of the impact, the front passenger side tire on her car was flat, pushed back against the wheel well.
Swanson was booked into the La Porte County Jail with an alleged .164 percent blood alcohol level, or slightly above two times the .08 percent legal limit.
She posted a $605 cash bond the next morning.
“This was a terrible mistake and I am devastated,” Swanson remarked when asked for a response to the allegations.
Swanson is nearing the end of the third year of her first four-year term as coroner.