CARMEL — After another crash involving a city vehicle, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard voluntarily took an alcohol test, the city said.
The crash occurred on Dec. 15 along West Main Street near Knoll Court around 2:45 p.m., according to police reports obtained by Call 6 Investigates. This is at least the second crash by Brainard in a city vehicle.
In 2017, Brainard came under fire after a Call 6 investigation that the mayor didn’t take an alcohol test after crashing his city owned car. Carmel’s drug and alcohol testing policy requires city employees driving city-owned vehicles to take a post-crash test as soon as possible if one or more of the vehicles involved “incur disabling damage and must be transported away from the accident scene by a tow truck.”
In this most recent crash, the mayor was giving a tour of Carmel to three movie producers about sites around the city, according to a release from the City of Carmel. The mayor told police he was in the right turn lane of West Main Street near Knoll Court when he was going to do a U-turn or pull into a drive to turn around, according to a crash report obtained by Call 6 Investigates.
The mayor told police he had his left turn signal on and then pulled into the lane to complete the turn, the crash report said. “At that point, the front drivers bumper/tire area struck [the other vehicle] near the front passenger side door area. [The other vehicle] appeared to swerve to avoid the collision.”
Carmel Police were able to review the crash by watching a video from the City of Carmel security camera that appeared to capture the collision from a distance.
According to the report, the mayor exchanged information with the second driver, who left before police arrived. Police attempted to contact the second driver with the phone number provided, but police were unsuccessful prior to completing the official crash report. Because of the false information provided by the other driver, the incident was classified as a hit-and-run.
One of the passengers of the mayor’s vehicle had a minor complaint of neck pain but refused medical treatment at the scene, according to the crash report. She told police she might go to the hospital later to get checked out.
The official crash report says no drug or alcohol tests were administered by police after the crash. Officers "saw no reason to administer one," a release from the city states.
But because Brainard had previously been criticized in his previous crash for not taking a test, he voluntarily requested the Carmel Police Chief drive him to the testing center, where he took a blood alcohol test. It registered 0.00, the release states.
City employees are required to take a test if they're involved in a crash, regardless if there is evidence of drinking. But the mayor is technically an elected official and not a city employee, so he is not under the same requirements.
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