ELKHART — A 24-year-old Elkhart County man was charged Thursday with two felonies and one misdemeanor for causing a Sunday morning car crash.
Braxton Metcalf was charged on Thursday, Aug. 15, with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury with a prior OWI conviction within five years and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. A habitual substance offender enhancement was also filed with the charges, according to a news release from the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Elkhart Superior Court 5, Metcalf was driving his 1999 Saturn westbound on C.R. 38 west of C.R. 9 at 90 miles per hour at 6:37 a.m. Sunday when he disregarded a stop sign at C.R. 38 and S.R. 19. He entered the intersection and struck a pickup truck towing a trailer and caused a chain-reaction crash involving three other vehicles.
Two people were injured in the accident. Megan Wesson, 23, of Goshen, was a passenger in Metcalf’s car and was taken to Elkhart General Hospital with a complaint of facial pain.
Janet Stone, 52, of South Bend, was also taken to Elkhart General with a fractured spine and right ankle.
Metcalf fled his vehicle and ran into a corn field in an attempt to elude Elkhart County Sheriff’s officers at the scene. The officers caught up with Metcalf after he stumbled and fell in the field. As they arrested him, they observed that he smelled of alcoholic beverages, had red, glassy eyes, was slurring his speech and was unsteady on his feet, according to the affidavit.
Upon his arrest, he failed three field sobriety tests and was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.13.
Metcalf appeared in court on Monday, Aug. 12, for a probable cause hearing at which the judge ordered him held on $150,000 bond. As of late Thursday afternoon, Metcalf was housed at the Elkhart County Jail.
If convicted, Metcalf could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for the leaving the scene charge and up to eight years for the lesser felonies. If he is convicted on the OWI charge, the habitual substance offender enhancement could add three to eight years to his sentence.
Metcalf has been convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting law enforcement and interfering with a law enforcement animal.