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Driver who flipped car on S. Locust Street pleads guilty; sentenced to day in prison

Mormon missionaries said driver crashed while giving them middle finger, looking back

Published: Friday, August 24, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 14:08

Flipped Car

Paul Fesenmeir / The DePauw

A silver Honda Civic sedan hit a curb on its right side then ramped up a support cable of a telephone pole, spun in the air and landed on its top about 20 feet away from the pole in front of Sigma Chi. In this cell phone picture minutes after the accident, witnesses describe the accident to Greencastle Police.

A Bainbridge man who flipped his car on S. Locust Street Saturday was sentenced to one day in prison and ordered to pay $820 in fines and court fees Tuesday in front of a Putnam County judge.

Greencastle police arrested Benjamin Brewer, 24, Saturday after he flipped his silver Honda Civic in front of Sigma Chi fraternity and Gobin Memorial Church while driving intoxicated over the legal limit.

The car was driving northbound when it reportedly crashed around 8:40 p.m. Scott Brezenski and Myles Anderton, two missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that the driver crashed while he raised his middle finger towards them while they walked past.

The right side of the car hit the curb then ramped up the support of a telephone pole in front of the Studebaker Memorial Administration Building, launching the car into the air, they said.

The car spun and landed on its top about 20 feet away from the pole in front of Sigma Chi, Brezenski and Anderton said.

“We were just walking, and he looked back and flipped us off,” Brezenski said, adding the driver was carrying a cigarette in the hand he used to make the gesture. “Then the car flipped 10 to 12 feet in the air.”

The driver was uninjured. DePauw Public Safety and the Greencastle Police Department were on the scene about five minutes later.

Brewer registered a .17 blood alcohol content at the scene, Officer Matt Demmings of DePauw Public Safety said.

Brewer pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle with a BAC of .15 or more and will have his driver’s license suspended for 30 days. He must then use a probationary license for 180 days.

Angie Nally, director of Public Safety, said drunk drivers are “surprisingly common” on campus, although they tend to be local residents and not DePauw students.

“Intoxicated drivers and pedestrians don’t mix well,” Nally said.

In 2011, 19 people – three students, 15 non-students and one unknown suspect – were arrested for drunk driving.

Brewer’s arrest marks the third person arrested for drunk driving on campus so far in 2012. The other two people were DePauw students.

— Ellen Kobe contributed to this article.


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