Man allegedly crashes into mailbox, leads police on pursuit while intoxicated

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - A man has been charged after he allegedly destroyed a mailbox and led police on a pursuit while intoxicated early Saturday morning, according to the probable cause affidavit.

At 1:20 a.m., the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department received information and complaints about a black Dodge pickup that had destroyed a brick mailbox before driving off, according to reports.

Airbags had been deployed and the pickup sustained major front-end damage in the incident, reports said.

An officer found the vehicle within a few minutes and tried to initiate a traffic stop but the pickup allegedly did not stop, reports said.

The driver of the pickup drove for over two miles, making numerous turns and loops and driving on several main roads before parking in a commercial building’s lot, according to reports.

The driver, identified as Larry Gene Vanbuskirk, was detained.

Vanbuskirk apologized and admitted he had done wrong. He said he had been at a party and lost track of how much alcohol he had and then left and hit a mailbox with his truck before driving off, reports said.

Officers noticed indicators that Vanbuskirk was intoxicated, reports said. Vanbuskirk cooperated with a blood draw.

Vanbuskirk failed several field sobriety tests and tested .201 on a portable breath test.

He has been charged with the following:

  • Resisting law enforcement
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person
  • Leaving the scene of an accident

UPDATE: In May 2022, Vanbuskirk pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person and leaving the scene of an accident. The other two charges against him were dismissed.

He was sentenced to 365 days in jail with 365 days suspended for OWI and 180 days in jail with 180 days suspended for leaving the scene. The two sentences will run consecutively.

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