DATE: Saturday, January 26, 2019
SUBJECT: Alcohol Likely a Factor in Water Rescue
CONTACT: Lt. Mark Rasure
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

Shortly before 05:30 this morning Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Union Township river bottoms to check on a vehicle that was adrift in high water. The truck was partially submerged nearly two hundred yards from Old Henderson Road near Golden Rule Road. The actual 911 caller had received a call from one of the people inside the truck asking for assistance. When the reporter could not locate her friend’s vehicle she decided to call 911 for help.

Emergency responders from the Perry Township Fire Department launched a water rescue boat and were able to successfully retrieve both individuals from the partially submerged pick-up truck. Once on dry land deputies and emergency medical personnel checked on the pair to see if either person was injured. Both refused any further medical treatment; however, during the assessment it was suspected that both men were under the influence of alcohol. Brandon Baumgart and Seth Elderkin were subsequently arrested for public intoxication. During his arrest Baumgart became physically combative as the deputy attempted to search him so he was additionally charged with resisting a law enforcement officer. Baumgart and Elderkin were transported to the Vanderburgh County Jail where they were booked for misdemeanor charges.

The roadway was clearly marked with signage indicating its closure due to high water. The Sheriff’s Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourage drivers to NEVER drive through high water on the roadway, regardless of whether it is standing or moving. Even if you are familiar with the roads, do not drive through high water because you probably will not see the danger. There may be debris, tree branches, downed power lines, or even washed away sections of roadway beneath the water’s surface. In addition to being dangerous, it is illegal for a motorist to disregard an official barricade or signage restricting access to a roadway.

Arrested: Brandon Baumgart, 26, of Evansville, IN and Seth Elderkin (imaged above right) 24, of Wadesville, IN.

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.