HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A Huntington woman is accused of running a stop light while driving with a blood-alcohol-level more than twice the legal limit and causing a crash that left a man with broken ribs, a bruised spine and swelling to his head and leg.
Naomi Shenyang Richison, 21, has been formally charged with two felony counts in Huntington Superior Court in connection with the crash, which happened Tuesday at the intersection of State Road 9 and State Road 218.
Allen County prosecutors and an Adams County judge have been brought in to handle the legal proceedings. Richison is the daughter of Amy Richison, former Huntington County Prosecutor and current Magistrate for Huntington Superior and Circuit courts.
Naomi Richison is accused of being behind the wheel of a Honda sport-utility-vehicle driving south on State Road 9 at about 3 p.m. Tuesday when she approached the flashing red lights at the intersection with State Road 218, according to court documents written by Indiana State Police investigators.
At the intersection, which has a four-way stop, her vehicle collided with another, court documents said.
Initially, Huntington County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash but within minutes asked that Indiana State Police investigators also come to the scene. The Indiana State Police then took over the investigation.
The man injured in the crash had to be airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital via helicopter and prescribed with a litany of pain medications, court documents said. When he later spoke with investigators, he described his pain as a nine on a scale of 1 to 10.
Along with the injuries to his ribs, spine and head he had a swollen leg, court documents said.
“He stated he has never felt this type of pain before in his life,” an Indiana State Police trooper wrote in a report.
A woman also injured at the scene was transported to a Fort Wayne hospital by ambulance, but her injuries were not described in court documents.
When investigators first spoke to Richison, she said the light at the intersection had turned yellow, then quickly to red and she did not have time to stop, according to court documents. When an investigator pointed out that the intersection only had flashing red lights, Richison said in court documents she did not know what happened.
One witness driving south on Indiana 9 told investigators Richison’s SUV passed her vehicle at a high rate of speed just prior to the crash. This witness told investigators she saw dust and debris fly around the collision and called 911.
An investigator wrote in court documents an open bottle of hard cider was on the road not far from Richison’s vehicle and there was an unopened bottle of the same brand of hard cider on the SUV’s driver’s side floor-board.
When asked if she had been drinking, Richison told an investigator in court documents she had some wine before leaving the house.
A portable breath test at the scene measured Richison’s blood-alcohol-content at .222 percent, according to court documents. Indiana’s legal limit is .08 percent.
A blood draw at a local hospital about an hour-and-a-half later showed it at .20 percent. At Huntington County Jail, a chemical breath test administered roughly three hours after the crash showed Richison’s blood-alcohol-content to be .17 percent.
Richison was booked into Huntington County Jail on Tuesday.
She is facing Level 5 felony count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, a Level 6 felony count of criminal recklessness and a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person.
Richison, who filed a motion to either be released on her own recognizance or have her bail reduced, was being held on a $20,000 bond as of late Thursday afternoon.
If she makes bond, she’s also ordered to refrain from any direct or indirect contact with the man involved in the crash for at least 10 days or until her initial hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Allen County Prosecutor Michael McAlexander and Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Adam Mildred are listed in court documents as the prosecutors in the case.
Huntington Superior Court Judge Jennifer Newton recused herself from the case Thursday, according to court records, and Adams Superior Court Judge Samuel Conrad was appointed as a special judge.