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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Teen kiled in Sunday crash

Monday, June 5, 2006

A former South Putnam High School student died early Sunday in a one-vehicle crash that also injured two other passengers.

And another former South Putnam student faces felony charges in relation to her death in the accident.

Elizabeth N. Wehrheim, 19, died following the 3 a.m. crash on CR 1000 South at CR 200 West.

She was a passenger in a 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada driven by Michael William Knight, 20, Center Point. He was scheduled to appear in Putnam Superior Court Monday afternoon on charges that include driving while intoxicated causing death.

Sgt. Tom Helmer of the Putnam County Sheriff's Dept. reports that Wehrheim was a rear seat passenger in the sport utility vehicle. Fellow passengers, Keanon Dickison, 19, and Nathan T. Archer, 24, were also hospitalized with injuries following the accident.

Helmer reported that Knight was driving west on CR 1000 South when he missed a curve in the roadway. The vehicle hit a brick fence post on the property of David Pearson. The vehicle then spun and became airborne, flying about 44 feet and hitting a tree on the passenger side.

Knight was able to exit the vehicle, but the three passengers were trapped.

Helmer reported that Knight went to a nearby residence seeking assistance. When emergency personnel began arriving at the scene, Knight fled into a wooded area. A three-hour manhunt followed, but Knight finally giving himself up to seek medical attention.

Emergency personnel were able to extricate the three passengers.

Dickison was taken to Putnam County Hospital via Operation LIfe for treatment of possible internal injuries, bruise and scrapes. He was listed in stable condition Monday morning.

Archer was airlifted via AirEvac helicopter to Wishard Memorial Hospital for treatment of multiple fractures and internal injuries. He was listed in stable condition Monday morning.

Wehrheim was airlifed via LifeLine helicopter to Methodist Hospital, but was pronounced dead soon after arriving.

Helmer reported that a search of the vehicle revealed a container of orange juice with possible additional alcoholic beverage in it. The bottle was found under the driver's seat.

Knight was taken to Putnam County Hospital for treatment of minor cuts. His blood-alcohol content tested .06 percent more than three hours after the incident. In Indiana, .08 percent BAC is considered legally intoxicated.

After treatment, he was taken to Putnam County Jail where he was booked in on charges of driving while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, failure to stop after an accident resulting in injury or death, possession of alcohol by a minor (illegal consumption), driving while intoxicated causing death, resisting law enforcement and driving while intoxicated.

Assisting Helmer at the scene were officers from the Cloverdale Police Dept., Indiana State Police, Cloverdale Fire Dept., Operation Life, Air Evac, LifeLine, and the Putnam County Sheriff's Dept.

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