WARSAW — An Elkhart man is facing multiple charges after his involvement in an April accident that resulted in the death of a Marion woman and serious injuries to the woman’s husband.
James Charles Lewis, 44, 1533 Sedgewick Court, Elkhart, is charged with causing death while operating a vehicle, a level 4 felony; causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle, a level 5 felony; and causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle – enhancement, a level 4 felony
At approximately 10:23 p.m. on April 10, emergency personnel responded to report of a head-on collision on SR 15, north of CR 550S, south of Warsaw.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, upon arrival, a Kosciusko County Sheriff’s deputy observed a green Chevy Suburban and a black Ford Explorer truck in the roadway with extensive front end damage.
The Chevy Suburban was operated by Donald Galbraith of Marion. He was entrapped in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Donald Galbraith’s front seat passenger, his wife, Sandra, was entrapped as well.
Lewis, who had been driving the Ford Explorer, was found lying in a ditch. He was the sole occupant of the Explorer.
Lewis was traveling north from Wabash after fishing with a friend.
When asked what occurred during the accident, Lewis said he fell asleep.
The deputy saw several empty beer cans on the driver’s floor board and in the bed of the Ford, along with a small bottle of Fireball Whiskey.
The deputy could smell the odor of alcohol emanating from Lewis. Lewis said he consumed three beers at a friend’s residence an hour or two prior to the crash.
Lewis sustained lower extremity injuries and was not able to perform several field sobriety tests; however, he did consent to the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus field sobriety test, which he failed. Lewis consented to a certified chemical test for alcohol and drugs.
Lewis provided a blood sample, which showed the presence of methamphetamine and THC in his system.
Methamphetamine is a schedule II controlled substance and the THC (marijuana) is a schedule I controlled substance.
Donald Galbraith suffered extensive injuries and was taken to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. Sandra Galbraith was pronounced dead at the scene
Donald Galbraith later told police that he had been traveling south on SR 15 when another vehicle entered his lane of travel headed northbound on SR 15, resulting in a head-on collision.
Donald Galbraith sustained a broken hip, a broken knee cap and a broken leg, all requiring reconstructive/replacement surgery.
Lewis was previously convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Elkhart County in June 2017.
Lewis was booked at the Kosciusko County Jail on July 23 on a $40,750 surety and cash bond.