RICHMOND, Ind. — A Richmond teen had been drinking whiskey and smoking marijuana before he allegedly drove his car into and severely injured a pedestrian earlier this week.
A handful of formal charges, including three felonies, have been filed by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office against 18-year-old Nathaniel Ervin.
He’s accused of being the driver of the car that hit Janet Lehman in the 300 block of North West E Street at about 7:30 p.m. Monday.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, shortly after officers were sent to the scene, a second crash was reported in the 1400 block of North West Fifth Street. A blue Toyota Camry with Ervin behind the wheel had run off the road and rammed into a utility pole.
Investigators later were able to determine through evidence at the scenes that the same car had been involved in both crashes.
Lehman was rushed to Reid Health where she was determined to have suffered severe internal bleeding, a crushed pelvis, a deep laceration on her head and she appeared to be losing sensation in her legs.
She was flown by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where she was in critical condition Tuesday. An update on Lehman’s status wasn’t immediately available Friday.
Ervin also was taken to Reid where he was interviewed by an officer who noticed his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, his speech was slurred and his breath had a “very strong” odor of alcohol, according to the affidavit.
He allegedly told the officer he had been drinking whiskey and smoking marijuana but said he didn’t remember hitting anything other than the utility pole.
While waiting for test results, Ervin allegedly became “very loud and irate.” He was warned to calm down but continued yelling and cussing, according to the affidavit.
Two nurses told the officer they heard Ervin at one point say, “OK, I hit someone. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.”
Ervin’s blood alcohol content was determined to be 0.276, more than three times the legal limit.
While he was being loaded into the police car to be taken to the Wayne County Jail, Ervin was searched and a small plastic bag of marijuana allegedly was found in his pants pocket.
Ervin has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury while intoxicated (a Level 3 felony), two counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury (both Level 5 felonies), disorderly conduct (a Class B misdemeanor) and possession of marijuana (a Class B misdemeanor).
He was released from jail on his own recognizance Wednesday. According to online court records, Ervin has no previous criminal history in Wayne County.
No trial date has been set so far, according to online court records. A Level 3 felony conviction carries a standard sentence of nine years with a range of three to 16. A Level 5 felony is punishable by one to six years in prison with a standard sentence of three.
Jason Truitt is the team leader and senior reporter at the Palladium-Item. Contact him at 765-973-4459 or email@example.com.
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