SUBJECT: Intoxicated Motorist Causes Two Crashes
RELEASE NUMBER: 2015-NR-003
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding
On Tuesday, January 06, 2015 at approximately 10:55 pm, the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Diamond Avenue and Detroy Road for an accident with injuries.
On scene investigation and witness statements indicated that a Ford F250 driven by Mr. Todd Helfert had been west on Diamond Avenue at a high rate of speed before striking the rear of a Dodge Dakota driven by Mr. Brent Manzi. The impact of the crash caused both vehicles to overturn. Mr. Helfert was trapped inside his vehicle and had to be removed by emergency personnel. Mr. Manzi was not injured.
While still on scene at the Diamond Avenue crash, the investigating deputy learned that a vehicle matching the description of Mr. Helfert’s had been involved in a hit and run crash at N St. Joseph Avenue and Bement Avenue. An investigation determined that moments before the Diamond Avenue crash, Mr. Helfert had struck a small passenger vehicle from behind while traveling a high rate of speed. The impact caused the passenger vehicle to spin several times and sustain significant damage. The driver of the passenger vehicle was not injured.
Mr. Helfert was transported to Deaconess Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Deputies attempted to obtain Mr. Helfert’s consent for a blood alcohol test, but he refused. Under statutory authority, the Sheriff’s Office was able to obtain hospital lab results which indicated Mr. Helfert’s blood alcohol concentration was .312 (which is nearly four times the legal limit).
Once Mr. Helfert was discharged from the hospital he was lodged at the Vanderburgh County Confinement Center. The west bound lanes of Diamond Avenue were closed for approximately 90 minutes while the vehicles were removed and the roadway cleaned up.
Driver #1 (Arrested):
Todd Anthony Helfert (pictured above), 36, Evansville, IN. Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated as a Class A Misdemeanor, Hit and Run / Leaving the Scene as a Class C Misdemeanor
Brent Manzi, 30, Evansville, IN