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Suspected drunk driver hits pedestrians in Boone County

Posted: 8:20 PM, Sep 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-04 01:26:51-04
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ADVANCE — Officials in Boone County said a suspected drunk driver struck five pedestrians, including a baby and two toddlers, who were on a walk Tuesday night.

Boone County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Burcham said Melody Thomas, 47, and her daughter, Jenna Thomas, 23, were walking Jenna's eight-month-old son and Melody's two other grandchildren at 7 p.m. Tuesday near Wall and Maple Streets in Advance when a red Chevrolet Cavalier driven by a Lebanon man struck them from behind.

Jenna Thomas carried her baby while she and her mother pushed the two toddlers in strollers, according to Burcham.

Melody Thomas suffered a head injury and numerous lacerations on her body, according to Burcham. Jenna Thomas suffered an elbow injury and minor cuts and scrapes. Eight-month-old Carson Dillon received facial injuries, and the two toddlers were not struck but were hospitalized for precautionary reasons.

All five were transported to Methodist Hospital and are listed in stable condition.

After striking the pedestrians, the vehicle continued westbound on Wall Street. A resident, David Nickel, heard the crash from his porch and chased down the suspect's car on foot. After Nickel caught up to the Cavalier, he jumped in the driver's side window, shut off the car and took the keys until law enforcement could arrive, Burcham said.

The driver faces charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and three counts of leaving the scene of a personal injury. Burcham said preliminary blood and urine results showed he may have been driving with marijuana in his system and had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit.

RTV6 does not name people accused of a crime until formal charges are announced.

Burcham said Melody Thomas is the wife of Advance Town Marshal Brad Thomas, while Jenna Thomas is his daughter and the three children are his grandchildren.

Advance is located approximately 40 miles northwest of Indianapolis.