Driver of passenger van in double fatal crash charged

Todd W. James_292163

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) The driver of a passenger van that crashed earlier this month in Leo, killing two Amish boys and hurting six more, has been charged with drunken driving.

Todd W. James, 52, faces two felony charges of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death related to the Oct. 1 crash along S.R. 1 that killed 21-year-old Harvey M. Schwartz and 17-year-old Louis E. Schwartz, both of South Whitley.

It was around 2 a.m. that morning that police and medics were called to the 14000 block of S.R. 1 near Amstutz Road in Leo. There, a Ford passenger van with 16 people inside, including nine juveniles, went off the road and hit a tree.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Allen Superior Court, James was the driver of the van. Investigating officers noticed a “moderate to strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” on him, and noted his eyes were “watery and bloodshot,” the affidavit said.

A blood sample taken at a local hospital showed James had a blood alcohol content of 0.13 percent, the affidavit said.

In court Friday, James had his driver’s license administratively suspended due to the charges he faces.

James has another court hearing set for Nov. 1.

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