ISP stops erratic I-70 driver hauling 40,000 lbs. of onions

Thursday, July 12, 2012

PUTNAMVILLE -- Just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, the Indiana State Police Region III Dispatch Center in Bloomington began receiving multiple cell phone calls reporting an erratic driver on eastbound Interstate 70 near the 37-mile marker in Putnam County.

The callers all reported that a blue tractor pulling a flatbed was traveling in and out of both lanes of I-70 traffic, recklessly passing and following too closely.

Troopers from the Putnamville Post were alerted to the situation, and a short time later, ISP Probationary Trooper Yan Dravigne located the suspect tractor-trailer.

Trooper Dravigne visually observed the driver following too closely, and stopped the unit near the 52-mile marker in western Morgan County.

The driver was identified as Nicolae Rebeja, 23, of Chicago.

Further investigation found Rebeja was wanted in Lake County for patronizing a prostitute (a misdemeanor). He was taken into custody and transported to the Morgan County Jail with bond set at $2,000.

Rebeja was also ticketed for following too close.

The unit he was driving was described as a blue 2006 Peterbilt tractor, pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with 40,000 pounds of agricultural onions. The load had originated in California and was bound for Pennsylvania, police said.

Sgt. Joe Watts, public information officer for the Putnamville Post, advised that ISP dispatch centers "provide this type of information as soon as possible to troopers in the field so erratic and dangerous drivers can be located and dealt with appropriately, thus reducing the potential for crashes."

Motorists are encouraged to report such driving behaviors by dialing 911, Watts added.

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