SUBJECT: Flaming Tire Leads to two Drunk Driving Arrests
RELEASE NUMBER: 2017-NR-056
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding
A flaming front tire caught the attention of a deputy working Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over traffic enforcement early this morning. While investigating that driver for intoxication, a second intoxicated motorist was stopped trying to enter I-69 against traffic.
On Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 1:35 AM a sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the area of Covert Avenue near Season’s Ridge Boulevard when he observed a Toyota Sienna minivan traveling eastbound. The van was weaving between lanes and throwing sparks and debris from the right front wheel. As the deputy moved closer, he observed the front wheel was severely damaged and appeared to be on fire. The deputy activated his emergency lights and siren, but the vehicle continued, running the stop sign at Fuquay Road and Covert Avenue. The vehicle eventually stopped at the I-69 overpass. A second deputy working Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over traffic enforcement as well as an Evansville Police Department officer then arrived to assist.
The driver, Ms. Catherine Cecilia Javier, appeared to be intoxicated and was unable to successfully complete any of the standardized field sobriety tests offered to her. A certified breath alcohol test indicated her BrAC was .174, which is more than double the legal limit.
While still on scene with the disabled minivan, deputies observed a vehicle traveling west on Covert Avenue attempt to enter I-69 against traffic. Deputies directed the vehicle from the off ramp and then made contact with the driver, who identified himself as Mr. John Nicholas Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez appeared intoxicated and was unable to successfully complete any of the standardized field sobriety tests offered to him. A certified breath alcohol test indicated his BrAC was .147.
Sheriff Dave Wedding explained, “Thanks to funding from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, we are able to field additional deputies whose main focus is stopping drunk drivers.” The Sheriff added, “We will never know exactly how many lives are saved annually by this extra enforcement, but I can tell you that when we arrest intoxicated motorists driving vehicles close to catching fire or against interstate traffic, we are certainly having a positive impact on roadway safety.”
The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office, Evansville Police Department and Indiana State Police will conduct Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement throughout August until Labor Day. Enforcement funding is provided by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) through a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Catherine Cecilia Javier (pictured above), 46, of Newburgh. Resisiting Law Enforcement as a Level 6 Felony, Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated as a Class A Misdemanor
John Nicholas Gonzalez (pictured above), 30, of Henderson, KY. Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated as a Class A Misdemeanor
Pictured above: Minivan stopped by deputy on Covert Ave east of Newburgh Road.
Presumption of Innocence Notice: The fact that a person has been arrested or charged with a crime is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.