Bluffton doctor sentenced for 2020 crash that killed 2-month-old

Crime

WELLS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A Bluffton doctor has been sentenced for driving while intoxicated and killing a 2-month-old baby in a 2020 head-on crash.

Wednesday afternoon, Russel Legreid was sentenced to six years: three years in jail and three years on probation. This was part of his plea deal.

As part of the sentencing:

  • His drivers license will be suspended for two years.
  • He will have to pay a $1,000 fine and court fees.
  • He can never purchase alcohol or go to an establishment that is strictly 21 and older.

Legreid did address the Martinez family while in court. He broke down saying how “sincerely sorry” he was. His daughter also addressed the Martinez family saying that on behalf of their family they were sorry and praying for them.

She went on to reassure the Martinez family and the court that her dad was sober, getting help, and that his story was helping others get the help they need.

During Wednesday’s sentencing, the court discussed that Legreid had been dealing with substance abuse for a number of years prior to the crash.

Both parents of 2-month-old Eliseo Martinez III gave impact statements to the court. His mother told the Legreid that she forgave him and wishes him no harm.

His father shared how happy baby Eliseo was. Then shared the horrors of the crash and the year and a half that followed explaining he was too unstable to make it to his son’s funeral. The father also expressed anger that Legreid and his lawyers wanted the blood test, which showed Legreid was above the legal limit, to be thrown out.

Before the sentencing, the infant’s father spoke out and asked that Legreid serve more time. Later in another outburst, he asked the court, “was he not drunk?”

The judge then agreed to honor the plea agreement and sentenced Legreid to six years: three years in jail and three years on probation.

The crash occurred in January 2020 in the 1700 block of North Main Street. 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 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, Eliseo Martinez III 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. The court allowed him to move to Georgia where he worked as a physician. His medical license is still valid there but not in Indiana.

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