Miami County, IN – Melissa Powell, 33 of Kokomo is facing a felony charge of Operating While Intoxicated after crashing her vehicle into a gravestone in the area of Strawtown Pike and CR 1100 S. in Miami County on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at approximately 7:08 p.m.
ISP Trooper David Kewish responded to the location of the accident which involves two almost 90-degree curves at 7:20 p.m. and observed a blue Chevy Cavalier stuck on a gravestone on the west side of the roadway.
Trooper Kewish contacted the driver, identified as thirty-three-year-old Melissa Powell of Kokomo, IN. Ms. Powell advised she had been messing with her phone and wasn’t familiar with the area and left the roadway striking the gravestone.
Trooper Kewish also spoke with the subject that called the accident into central dispatch. He stated that he arrived after the accident and didn’t observe the crash. He advised that Ms. Powell had borrowed his phone and called a wrecker company but not the police. He found this odd and call the police just in case.
Road marks leading back from the Chevy to the left side of the roadway in the curve made it appear that Powell was traveling on the wrong side of the roadway prior to the crash. When asked about this, Powell stated she was messing with her phone and had swerved into the left lane before going off the road.
While talking with Powell, Trooper Kewish observed her to have poor manual dexterity and that she was slurring her words while talking. She also stumbled and when pulling herself out of the vehicle.
Kewish then asked Ms. Powell if she had been drinking and she stated she hadn’t. He then asked if she would be willing to take a portable breath test and she stated she wasn’t taking anything until she spoke with her husband.
Trooper Kewish charged Ms. Powell’s phone in his police vehicle and allowed her to make a phone call to her husband. After she spoke with her husband, he again asked her to take a portable breath test and she stated that she wouldn’t until her husband arrived on the scene.
She did consent to some Field Sobriety Tests. While explaining the tests to Ms. Powell, Trooper Kewish detected to the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person. He again asked her if she had anything to drink and if she could explain why he could smell alcohol. She stated she had two glasses of wine at lunch around 2 p.m.
Powell was given two field sobriety tests and was again asked to submit to a portable breath test. She again refused to take the test until her husband arrived. At this point, she was read Indiana Implied Consent. She stated she understood and refused the test. She was then placed under arrest for Operating While Intoxicated-Refusal.
Upon being told that she was under arrest, Ms. Powell jerked away from Trooper Kewish and stated she wasn’t going anywhere until her husband arrived. She was instructed that if she pulled away again, she would receive an additional charge. She was then placed in handcuffs and put into the front seat of Kewish’s police vehicle.
Ms. Powell was then transported to the Miami County Jail. As they were leaving the scene, Ms. Powell advised her husband was coming up the road in an approaching red pick-up truck.
While being transported to the jail, Ms. Powell was verbally abusive towards Trooper Kewish and upon arrival at the jail, to the jail staff. She also failed to follow their directions multiple times.
A check of her records showed that Powell had a prior OWI conviction from 2016 which would make this OWI charge a felony.
Melissa Powell, 33, of Kokomo, IN faces a charge of Operating While Intoxicated- Felony. She also received a citation for driving left of center.
All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.