Police accuse Indy man of OWI, leaving the scene

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Police say a motorist accused of impaired driving and leaving the scene was traveling northbound in U.S. 231’s southbound lane south of Huntingburg at the time of the Saturday night crash.

Velasquez Ochoa

Hector R. Velasquez Ochoa, 22, Indianapolis, was the northbound driver in the wrong lane, according to the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department. He was operating a 2005 Nissan Altima at 10:22 p.m. when the accident occurred near County Road 1100S, deputies said.

Jacob Masterson, 17, of Santa Claus, was driving southbound in a 2011 Hyundai Sonata when he noticed Velasquez Ochoa’s car in his lane of travel, according to the sheriff’s department.

Masterson swerved into the northbound lane in an attempt to avoid a collision, according to the sheriff’s department. Velasquez Ochoa’s Nissan struck the rear passenger side of Masterson’s car, sending it off the highway and into a ditch.

Deputies said Velasquez Ochoa continued northbound without stopping.

The Nissan was stopped in Huntingburg by the Huntingburg Police Department and a sheriff’s deputy after dispatch notified law enforcement to be on the lookout for a vehicle with heavy damage that had left the scene of a crash headed toward the Huntingburg area.

Officers who made contact with Velasquez Ochoa allegedly smelled the heavy odor of burnt marijuana. The sheriff’s department alleged that Velasquez Ochoa admitted to smoking marijuana and having it and a smoking pipe in his vehicle.

Police allege they located those items in the vehicle and seized them.

The sheriff’s department said Velasquez Ochoa, who was found to hold only a learner’s permit, tested positive for marijuana in his system at Memorial Hospital.

Authorities booked Velasquez Ochoa into the Dubois County Security Center at 2:17 a.m. Sunday on preliminary misdemeanor counts of operating while intoxicated (drugs), possession of paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. He was also cited for a learner’s permit violation. He posted bond later Sunday morning.

Damage was estimated at $2,500 to each vehicle. The sheriff’s department said Masterson’s car had rear passenger-side damage but did not require a wrecker. Masterson escaped injury, the sheriff’s department added.

 

 




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