Sunday at approximately 7:44 p.m., officers from the Indiana State Police, the Miami County Sheriff’s Department, and the Peru Police Department responded to a two-vehicle crash at Fifth and Benton Streets, in which a Peru, IN woman, died.
The preliminary crash investigation by Trooper Matt Moon revealed that Andrew Winch, 21, Peru, IN, was driving a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck westbound on Fifth Street, approaching a stop sign at the intersection of Benton Street. Winch allegedly disregarded the stop sign, at Benton Street, and struck a southbound 2019 Honda CRV on the driver’s side. The CRV was driven by Norman Knowlton, 76, Peru, IN.
Winch and Norman Knowlton were not injured, but a passenger in the CRV, Mary A. Hipskind, 83, Peru, IN, died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash. Barbara Knowlton, 72, Peru, IN, also a passenger in the CRV, was transported via ambulance to Duke’s Memorial Hospital.
She was later flown by medical helicopter to Ft Wayne’s Lutheran Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Joseph Hipskind, 81, Peru, IN, a third passenger in the CRV, was not injured.
Further investigation revealed that at the time of the crash, Winch allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C.) over the .08 B.A.C. limit in which Indiana law considers a driver intoxicated. Speeding is also allegedly a contributing factor in this crash.
Winch was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail to face felony charges for operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, and reckless homicide.
He also faces two misdemeanor charges for reckless driving and for operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering another person.
This crash is still under investigation.
Trooper Moon was assisted by ISP Sergeant Rick Brown, Senior Trooper Todd Trottier, Trooper Andrew Baldwin, Trooper Abby Russell, officers from the Peru Police Department, and the Miami County Sheriff’s Department.
All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.