Man charged in fatal wreck

A Jennings County man faces charges in connection with a March 12 wreck that led to the death of a man living in a motel on Seymour’s east side and left four people hurt.

Christopher Boggs, 21, of North Vernon, was arrested Thursday on a Jennings Circuit Court warrant for a Level 4 felony charge of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or greater and three Level 6 felony counts of causing serious bodily injury while operating while intoxicated.

The charges are tied to a wreck at 9:52 p.m. March 12 on State Road 3 between county roads 650S and 700S in southern Jennings County.

Michael D. Mathis, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a press release from the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

When first responders arrived at the scene north of Commiskey in Lovett Township, they found Mathis trapped in the passenger side of a 2010 Chevrolet Impala, police said.

Although investigators were told Mathis was originally from Columbus, his driver’s license listed a Greensburg address, Jennings County Sheriff Gary Driver said at the time.

Most recently, Mathis had been staying in a motel room in the Seymour area, where many of his belongings were later recovered, Driver said.

Mathis was in a northbound car driven by Boggs that veered into the southbound lanes, police said.

Evidence was found that indicates alcohol use might have been a factor in the crash, Driver said.

When a southbound 2004 Mercury Mountaineer driven by Amanda K. Helton, 32, of Deputy, collided with the Impala, it smashed into the front passenger side, where Mathis was sitting, police said.

The impact caused Helton’s vehicle to spin around, and her Mountaineer was struck by a 1995 Toyota pickup truck, driven by Patty S. Daugherty, 69, also of Deputy, that was heading south just behind Helton’s vehicle.

Besides the driver, other occupants of the SUV were identified as front passenger Robert T. Helton, 38, and the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, who was in her car seat behind the front passenger, police said.

Boggs, Amanda Helton and her daughter and Daugherty were taken to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon. Boggs and the 3-year-old girl were later transported to Indianapolis hospitals, police said.

Two Indiana State Police crash scene re-constructionists were called in to assist Jennings County Sgt. Allen Ritchie in the investigation.

Boggs also faces Class A misdemeanor charges of operating with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or greater and operating while intoxicated-endangerment.

He was booked into the Jennings County Jail at 9 p.m. Thursday on $2,605 bond and later posted bond and was released. He is scheduled for an initial hearing at 8:30 a.m. April 20 in Jennings Circuit Court.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.