FORT WAYNE – A driver who had a blood-alcohol level of more than six times the legal limit when he slammed into five vehicles last month at a Fort Wayne intersection now faces nine felony counts.
The afternoon of Sept. 27, employees at Grabill Bank in Leo-Cedarville helped the accused driver, Gabriel A. Biddle, change a flat tire on a silver Toyota Corolla. Someone at the bank called 911 to report that Biddle was driving away and may be intoxicated, court papers stated.
At 2:37 p.m., Allen County dispatchers relayed that report to officers in the area. Three minutes later, Fort Wayne police were called to a crash involving the Corolla and five other vehicles at Maplecrest and Evard roads, court papers said.
Biddle, 29, had been driving south on Maplecrest, approaching Evard, at a high rate of speed when he rear-ended a southbound vehicle waiting at a red light, court papers said.
The driver of that vehicle, Rachel Neal, was extricated and taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center. Her injuries included broken ribs and bruising. She also had to have the bones of her forearm surgically reconstructed, court papers stated.
The Corolla pushed the woman’s vehicle forward, causing a chain-reaction crash that damaged four other vehicles waiting at the light. One of those drivers, Michael Brust, suffered bruises and was taken to Parkview, according to court papers.
Trapped behind the Corolla’s steering wheel, Biddle was freed from the car and taken to Parkview in critical condition. A test showed that his blood-alcohol level was 0.52 percent, court papers said.
The legal limit for Indiana drivers is 0.08 percent.
Biddle, of the 4500 block of Willard Drive, was charged Friday with two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and five counts of criminal recklessness.
Biddle was convicted of drunken driving in 2006 and January, court records show.