Indiana State Police investigate drunk driving crash – Portland man arrested

BERNE –  At approximately 7:40 p.m Sunday evening, an Indiana State Police Fort Wayne Post Sgt. came upon a personal injury vehicle crash at the intersection of US 27 and County Road 200 South, just north of Berne. 

The trooper reported two vehicles being involved, both having sustained substantial damage, and several passengers requiring medical attention.

A preliminary investigation found that a 2012 Ford Econoline passenger van, driven by 48-year-old James Hamner, of Portland, IN, was traveling eastbound on CR200S.  Hamner is alleged to have failed to yield the right of way at the US 27 intersection- entering into the path of a northbound 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, operated by 41-year-old Tadie Ramirez, of Fort Wayne.  As Hamner’s van entered the intersection, Ramirez’s vehicle collided with the passenger side of the van. 

Ramirez and her adult passenger were both transported by Adams County EMS to a Fort Wayne area hospital with what was described as non-life-threatening injuries.

Both were wearing seatbelts.

There were eight passengers in Hamner’s van, none of which were wearing seatbelts. Two of those adult passengers had to be transported by Adams County EMS to a Fort Wayne area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Hamner was not injured, however, the investigation did find him to be showing signs of alcohol impairment.  A certified chemical breath test revealed a breath alcohol concentration of (.204), well over twice Indiana’s legal limit of .08. Hamner was transported from the scene to the Adams County jail, where he was booked into custody and incarcerated on related OWI charges.

Hamner was arrested on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangerment, operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or greater, and was issued a citation for failure to yield the right of way.

 ISP was assisted at the scene by the Adams County Sheriff’s Department, Adams County EMS, Monroe Fire Department, and Lehman’s Auto (wrecker service).