A Pierceton man who was driving drunk in August 2011 and seriously injured a woman, has thus far avoided being sentenced for his crime, but his attorney says it is due to insurance issues.
According to Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department information, Andrew Peters, 29, was operating while intoxicated in August 2011. His vehicle crossed the center line of CR 100 North and struck a Jeep Grand Cherokee head-on. The driver of the Jeep, Melissa Fitzsimmons, 30, sustained a serious ankle injury that required extensive surgery.
Also in the vehicle with Fitzsimmons was her infant daughter, who was safely strapped in a car seat, and escaped unharmed. Now, nearly 19 months later, Fitzsimmons is still recovering from the accident and she and her husband are faced with more than $300,000 in medical bills.
Peters was initially charged with one count each of causing serious bodily injury when operating with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more. The first is a class D felony; the second, a class C felony. He was also charged with one count of being a habitual substance offender. The August 2011 crash resulted in Peters third Operating While Intoxicated charge.
On March 15, 2012, Peters pleaded guilty and was set to be sentenced on May 17, 2012. It was the first of five dates which came and passed without Peters being sentenced.
Court records show in all of the sentencing dates – May 17, 2012; July 12, 2012; Sept. 20, 2012; Nov. 5, 2012; and March 4, 2013 – Peters filed the documentation to have it delayed. His next sentencing date has been set for 2:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23.
Attorney John Barrett represents Peters. Barrett tells StaceyPageOnline.com that, in Indiana, compensation must be dealt with at the time of sentencing. Because the Fitzsimmons’ medical bills are far greater than the insurance Peters carried will cover, the civil attorney in the case has actually requested the sentencing be delayed.
In order to help with uninsured medical costs, the Fitzsimmons family has established a fundraiser through an online service. Donors are able to make contributions anonymously or publicly by clicking on the “contribute now” link.
Barrett adds that, at some point, Peters will also be ordered to pay restitution.