WABASH — Just under a month before his two-day jury trial was set, Carl William Burt’s trial was continued and reset to start at 9 a.m. Aug. 2-3 in Wabash County Circuit Court. Burt’s attorney, Alan Zimmerman filed a motion to continue the trial on March 14. The trial was originally set for April 12-13.
Burt, 63, 7194 W. Crystal Lake Road, Warsaw, has been charged with reckless homicide, a class C felony; operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a class A misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, a class B felony. The charges stem from the July 18, 2013, accident which took the life of Mary Ellen Rudisel-Jordan, Warsaw.
Burt was arrested by Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department on Dec. 3, 2015, and held for Wabash County officials.
Burt was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Impala, which struck Rudisel-Jordan’s 2004 Ford Focus around 3:03 p.m. July 18, 2013. The accident was on SR 15, near Wabash CR 1400N. Rudisel-Jordan was pronounced dead at the scene. Burt was taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne, for unspecified injuries, but later released.
Witnesses notified the Kosciusko County Communications Center approximately 10 minutes before the accident that a vehicle matching the description of Burt’s vehicle was being driven in an erratic fashion, passing vehicle’s in a no passing zone at a high rate of speed. Pleasant Township Fire Chief Adam J. Casper was behind Burt’s vehicle just prior to the accident and observed his driving behavior, but lost visual contact with the vehicle near SR 15 and SR 14, which had continued southbound on SR 15.
Casper reported he soon saw dirt in the air and initially believed Burt had left the roadway. A short time later he saw what appeared to be an explosion and as he approached that area, he could see the crash scene.
A toxicology blood test returned positive for diazepam, nordiazepam, oxazepam and temazepam. The levels, according to a toxicology analytical supervisor, would be recognized as high enough levels to be considered impaired. Prior convictions of Burt were noted: operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a BAC of .15 or more, OWI Enhancement, D felony, in 2010; OWI with a controlled substance, in 2008; public intoxication in 2013 and no less than four convictions of speeding.