The Journal Gazette
Friday, June 18, 2021 1:00 am

DWI charges filed in fatality week ago

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

A Kendallville man was charged with drunken driving and causing the death of a local woman less than a week ago.

Bradley Wayne Sowles, 41, was charged Thursday with causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crash on West Jefferson Boulevard at Engle Road just after midnight June 11, they found a bottle of Fireball whiskey in plain view in his 2007 Ford Explorer, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Lisa Marie Ellert, 62, of Fort Wayne, was traveling south on Engle when her car was struck by someone who sped through a red light at the intersection, a Fort Wayne Police Department release stated just after the crash. At the scene, she died of multiple blunt force injuries, the Allen County coroner said.

The driver, identified later as Sowles, was trapped in the driver's seat and was taken to a hospital for multiple injuries.

Less than an hour after the crash, Sowles' blood-alcohol level was 0.23%, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08% after a blood test was administered, court documents said.

Sowles was taken into custody Thursday and released on a $12,500 bond, an Allen County Jail spokesman said. He has a court hearing Monday.

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