Heritage Lake man charged in accident that killed fiancee

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A 28-year-old Heritage Lake man who was driving the car in which his fiancée was fatally injured when it crashed has been charged in the April 4 accident.

A warrant was issued Monday for Alexander P. King, 146 Lincoln Hills, Coatesville, who turned himself in at the Putnam County Jail just after 5 p.m. Monday.

King is being charged with two felony counts:

-- Causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .15 or greater, a Level 4 felony punishable by 2-12 years in prison.

-- Reckless homicide, a Level 5 felony punishable by 1-6 years in prison (under the new Indiana criminal code, 75 percent of the sentence now must be served).

The April 4 accident on U.S. 36, east of Bainbridge, resulted in the death of Megan Witty, 29, Coatesville. The Brownsburg High School Spanish teacher was pronounced dead at the scene from head trauma after the westbound 1997 BMW, driven by King, left the roadway and crashed about 6 p.m.

The probable cause affidavit asserts that King operated the vehicle "in a reckless manner by driving at a high rate of speed and passing on a double-yellow line, causing the death of Megan Witty."

Authorities also allege King had a blood-alcohol content of .17 percent at the time of the fatal accident, as documented in the toxicology report.

"This has been delayed by one month," Putnam County Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter explained Monday afternoon, "because of three things."

Those issues, as he enumerated for the Banner Graphic, are:

-- A request for the Indiana State Police laboratory to do the toxicology report.

-- Examination of the vehicle by an independent, certified mechanic, Rick Cooper, to make sure the car was in full working order at the time of the accident.

-- Accident reconstruction by an Indiana State Police expert, Trooper Jim Cody of the Putnamville Post.

A report by the accident reconstructionist estimated the BMW was traveling a "minimum of 79 mph" in a 55-mph zone when the car when into a slide as King attempted to pass a truck in a double-yellow, no-passing zone over the bridge east of Bainbridge.

Witnesses reported observing the BMW traveling at a high rate of speed before the driver lost control of the car in failing to negotiate a curve just west of the bridge over Big Walnut Creek on U.S. 36.

The car reportedly went left of center and slid approximately 380 feet, "violently flipping" several times and twice striking a limestone/earthen retaining wall before coming to rest on the shoulder along the north side of the highway.

The vehicle sustained extensive passenger-side damage, authorities reported, which led to the death of Witty.

King, meanwhile, was trapped in the car and needed to be extricated before being flown via medical helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital at Indianapolis.

No mechanical abnormalities were discovered in the vehicle during its inspection, the probable cause affidavit noted.

The crash was initially investigated by Putnam County Sheriff's Department Deputy Matthew Biggs, with assistance from Deputy Mike Downing and Capt. Thomas Helmer.

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  • How sad, why do people continually drink and drive. So unnecessary. :-( Many thoughts and prayers for the families involved.

    -- Posted by Falcon9 on Tue, May 5, 2015, at 9:34 AM
  • Very sad situation for all! Prayers for all involved. Bottom line--Don't drink and drive!

    -- Posted by chicagogirl on Thu, May 7, 2015, at 11:44 AM
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