Man Arrested In Fatal Crash Had Drunk Driving Criminal Record

By Jeff Neumeyer

Man Arrested In Fatal Crash Had Drunk Driving Criminal Record

June 18, 2010 Updated Nov 26, 2009 at 11:18 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Court records show that the Allen County man arrested in Tuesday’s drunk driving fatality near Woodburn had a drunk driving criminal history.

At one time, the man actually had his license suspended for life.

According to police, it didn't stop 52-year old Brian Mansfield from getting behind the wheel and devastating a family from Ohio.

It’s a sad story that almost seemed destined to play out.

The Allen County coroner’s office says 45-year old Jacqueline Yenser of Antwerp Ohio died of blunt force trauma in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of State Roads 14 and 101 close to the Indiana-Ohio state line.

At last report, Mansfield, who lives in Monroeville, was still jailed on $25,000 bond, after police say he blew a stop sign and slammed into Yenser's SUV.

The woman’s daughter was seriously injured in the crash.

Police say Mansfield's blood alcohol level tested .37, nearly five times the legal limit.

Court records indicate Mansfield was convicted and sentenced as a habitual traffic violator in 1990, after driving at a high rate of speed and rear-ending another vehicle, injuring Deborah Kramer, then leaving the accident scene.

That followed a 1987 drunk driving conviction.

It all resulted in Mansfield having his license revoked for life, but in 2000, Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull granted a request by Mansfield's lawyer to restore Mansfield's driving privileges.

These kinds of situations are a source of great frustration for State Senator Tom Wyss, who has crusaded for tough drunk driving laws.

State Sen. Tom Wyss/(R) Fort Wayne: " This is just another case that's proven it's not solved yet. There's still the tragedies out there of lives being lost by people who are socially irresponsible and in some cases, where businesses are supplying the alcohol, they're being socially irresponsible too."

We’ve also learned that back in 2002, Mansfield was pulled over and arrested after his blood alcohol level tested .43, way over the legal limit.

But court records show charges in that matter were eventually dismissed before the case went to trial.

We could not find an explanation why.

Calls to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, to try and determine whether Mansfield had a valid driver’s license at the time of Tuesday’s fatal crash, were not returned. .

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