FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For some reason, the pickup truck left the road near the General Motors plant in Allen County.
Heading east on Lafayette Center Road, the truck went into a ditch near the intersection with Fogwell Parkway and then hit a private drive about four feet above the ditch level. This caused the truck to go airborne for about 70 feet before landing on the front bumper and flipping over, trapping the driver inside, according to newly released Allen Superior Court documents.
Now, the driver is facing felony charges in the Dec. 20, 2020 crash that left two people injured – with one being in serious condition.
Allen County prosecutors on Tuesday formally charged 49-year-old Jerrold T. Nichols, Jr. with a Level 5 felony count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and a Level 6 felony count of criminal recklessness in connection with the crash.
Nichols is accused of having a blood-alcohol-content of .136 percent at the time of the crash, according to court documents.
A woman in the back passenger seat of the crash suffered several fractures to her vertebrae as well as tears to at least one artery in a vertebrae, as well as other injuries to her scalp, court documents said.
A man who was in the passenger seat of the truck also suffered injuries to his head and a broken nose, court documents said. Nichols himself suffered a lower spine fracture as well as a mandible fracture, according to court documents.
The woman in the pickup truck told responding officers with the Allen County Sheriff’s Department she, Nichols and the other passenger were returning to work at General Motors after a break when the crash happened, according to court documents.
She later filed a lawsuit against Nichols seeking damages in the crash, according to court records. That suit has since been settled and dismissed.
A warrant has been issued for Nichols’ arrest, but as of Tuesday afternoon, he had not been booked into Allen County Jail.