Doctor pleads guilty for 2020 crash that killed infant

Crime

BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) – On Friday, the doctor accused of driving while intoxicated and killing a 2-month-old baby in a head-on crash in January 2020 has pleaded guilty.

Russel Legreid pleads guilty to:

  • Causing death while operating a vehicle with an ACE of .08 or above (Level 4)
  • Causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle with an ACE of .08 or above (Level 4)

During the court appearance, the prosecutor asked Legreid if knew he was over the legal drinking limit. He said, “to the best of my understanding.” He then said the crash was his fault.

Under the plea agreement, he will serve six years at the department of corrections for count one, and six years at the department of corrections for count three. In addition, two charges were dropped:

  • Causing death while operating a vehicle while intoxicated (Level 4)
  • Causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle while intoxicated (Level 4)

Legreid voluntarily went to the Wells County Jail and surrendered to the court at 6 p.m. on Friday.

In January 2020, police responded to the 1700 block of North Main Street on a report of a vehicle crash. The initial investigation indicated that Legreid was driving his pickup truck on Main Street when he crossed the center line into the path of a minivan driven by 25-year-old Eliseo Martinez Jr.

Martinez and three children inside – aged 6, 5, and 2 months – were all taken to a Fort Wayne hospital, where the 2-month-old was later pronounced dead.

At the time of the crash, Legreid was a board-certified otolaryngologist practicing in Bluffton. According to a statement from Lutheran Health officials, in 2019 Legreid submitted his resignation effective March 2020 and has not seen patients since the crash. Before the crash, Legreid was in the process of relocating to Georgia.

His sentencing will take place on Sept. 15 at 3 p.m.

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