LAPORTE COUNTY | A member of the LaCrosse Volunteer Fire Department is accused of drunken driving following three separate crashes in his vehicle.
LaPorte County police arrested Dennis Masek, 37, on a misdemeanor charge of operating while intoxicated.
About 2 a.m. Sunday, a motorist had to swerve to avoid a red Chevy Avalanche stopped in the middle of U.S. 421 about two miles north of LaCrosse.
The motorist stopped and approached the driver asking him to pull into a nearby driveway to get off the two lane highway.
Police said Masek, though, drove past the driveway and into a ditch.
In his report, sheriff's Deputy Jacob Koch said Masek admitted to him that he had been drinking at a bar in Wanatah.
Police also noted that Masek had difficulty maintaining his balance falling on the hood of the deputy's police vehicle twice before his arrest.
Masek was booked into the LaPorte County Jail with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15, police said.
The investigation later revealed that Masek about one hour prior to his arrest had struck two 16-foot pine trees and 16-feet of steel fencing in a yard on 1350 South in Wanatah along with a guard rail.
Later that afternoon, police also discovered Masek that same night hit a parked vehicle outside a home on Illinois Street in Wanatah.
Police said he was connected to those crashes by broken pieces off his vehicle left at the accident scenes.
Among the parts recovered from the accident sites were strobe lights equipped on his vehicle for use while responding to calls, police said.
LaCrosse Fire Chief Aaron Rust declined comment.