(COLUMBUS) – Jury selection is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Bartholomew Circuit Court for a Seymour man accused of reckless homicide in the death of a Brown County driver in an accident in Columbus.
According to court records, 50-year-old Ruel P. Pedigo III of Seymour is facing three felonies charges in an accident on Jan. 27, 2018 that claimed the life of 35-year-old Patrick Bowman of Brown County.
His fiancee Sarah Fliehman, also of Brown County and a passenger in Bowman’s vehicle, suffered head injuries and was hospitalized after the accident.
Pedigo is also facing felony charges of operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the blood and causing serious bodily injury when operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance in the blood.
The charges stem from a multi-vehicle accident at 7:40 p.m. Jan. 27, 2018, in the eastbound lanes of Jonathan Moore Pike near Johnson Boulevard, involving as many as six vehicles.
Investigators said Pedigo was driving a Ford F650 tow truck with a vehicle on the flatbed when he rear-ended a Mazda 3, driven by Bowman.
Several collisions occurred among vehicles in front of the Mazda after the tow truck it hit, accident reconstructionists said in court documents.
Pedigo told investigators he had exited I-65 South and was heading east on Jonathan Moore Pike when an unidentified small black car changed from the left turn lane to Pedigo’s lane. Pedigo told police he tried to brake, but slid, causing the accident, court documents state.
Pedigo told police he was going 25 to 30 mph when he hit the Mazda. However, when investigators downloaded the airbag diagnostic sensing module in the tow truck, the data showed he was traveling between 37 and 40 mph in the seconds leading up to the crash. Police say he did not apply the brakes until about 1 second before impact with the Mazda, court documents state.
A toxicology report showed Pedigo had methamphetamine and amphetamine, in his blood when the accident occurred.