Police: Man With 0.52% BAC Causes Crash

By Eric Dutkiewicz
By Corinne Rose

September 27, 2012 Updated Nov 7, 2013 at 11:52 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne police say a driver with a blood-alcohol content 6½ times the legal limit caused a crash at Maplecrest & Evard Roads.

Witnesses tell police that around 2:40 p.m., a Toyota Corolla was headed southbound on Maplecrest Road, failed to stop at a red traffic light and rammed into four minivans stopped at the intersection in front of Hillsboro addition.

Fort Wayne firefighters had to extricate two people from the wreckage.

The male driver of the Corolla was taken to a hospital in serious condition. A BAC test on the driver read 0.52%.

One other person is also in serious condition. Another is in fair condition.

Maplecrest Road, between St. Joe Center Road and Rothman Road was closed for nearly two hours as crews cleaned up debris and gasoline from the crash.

Police say the Allen County Sheriff's Department had an attempt to locate call out on the car on reports of reckless driving.

Names of those involved in the crash have not been released.

Many people have questioned how a man could have been driving with a blood alcohol content of .52% before causing Thursday's horrific crash.

It's rare for emergency room doctors to see a patient with a blood alcohol content that high, but it does happen.

The driver in Thursday's crash at Maplecrest and Evard Roads registered a B.A.C.more than six times the legal limit.

The medical director of emergency services at Lutheran Hospital says having that much alcohol in your system puts you at severe risk of suppressed breathing, delayed response times and drowsiness.

But for someone to even function with that high of a B.A.C., Dr. B.P. House says shows a history of chronic alcohol use, since if it were someone who's an occasional drinker, it would most likely be fatal.

"It's just so that their body becomes so adjusted to the alcohol over time and they're able to metabolize it, and therefore withstand a higher level than someone who drinks very occasionally could," says Dr. House, the medical director of emergency services for Lutheran Hospital.

This is the second time in recent weeks someone has tested higher than .50 in recent weeks.

Last week a Kosciusko County man had a blood alcohol content of nearly .55% when police found him in his car -- a record for that county.

Thursday's crash sent the drunk man and three others to the hospital, but they're all expected to survive.

No word on any charges in the crash.

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