Cleary DUI trial ongoing

2012-09-10T19:30:00Z 2012-09-10T22:41:12Z Cleary DUI trial ongoingSusan Brown (219) 662-5325
September 10, 2012 7:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Closing arguments were expected Monday, the eighth day of a Valparaiso man's retrial on drunken driving charges linked to the 2010 death of a road service worker from Hebron.

Instead, the day belonged to defense witness Stephan Neese, a self-employed traffic accident reconstruction expert and retired Schererville police officer. Neese testified for nearly five hours.

Using computerized imagery, Neese portrayed the accident as depicted by Jeffery Cleary, 66, in his own testimony Friday.

Cleary, a Gary-based businessman, admits he had been drinking but says he was not drunk when he entered the southbound ramp of Interstate 65 off Ridge Road the night of Nov. 2, 2010.

"The lights were blinding me. The trucks were encroaching on me, and I couldn't get through the hole," Cleary said of the crash that killed Philip Amsden, 63.

Amsden was fixing a flat tire on a semitrailer. He was crushed between his own pickup truck and the trailer when Cleary's vehicle hit the pickup.

Cleary claims he ran out of road to avoid Amsden's pickup as semitrailers crowded him in the next lane.

The case is now expected to go the jury Tuesday morning.

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