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Cromwell Man Dies In Crash 10/22/1997

STAFF REPORT

A Cromwell man was killed early this morning in a two-pickup collision on Ind. 13 near Syracuse. Virgil L. Helman, 67, of 9174 E. Doswell Blvd., Cromwell, was pronounced dead at the scene of apparent internal injuries. The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call of the accident at 3 a.m. today. The accident was reported to be south of CR 1120N near Syracuse. According to police reports, a witness said that Helman’s truck was northbound on Ind. 13 and made a left turn in front of a southbound truck driven by Edward L. Chivington, 45, North Webster. Chivington was listed in serious but guarded condition at Kosciusko Community Hospital this morning. Police reported neither driver was wearing a seatbelt. It is unknown if alcohol was a factor in the accident. Syracuse fire and EMS were also dispatched to the scene.

Kolbe Requests Grand Jury In Three Cases 11/02/1997

BY TIFFANY SHAW, Times-Union Staff Writer

Kosciusko County Prosecutor David Kolbe is requesting the Kosciusko Circuit Court to call a grand jury.

The grand jury will investigate the alleged accidental deaths of Kaelie and Anthony Cusick, formerly of Lake Wawasee, and the vehicular deaths of Virgil Helman and Shawnee R. Ulrey.

He said that the prosecutor’s office has been investigating the Cusick’s deaths for some time, and has been planning to call the grand jury. Both of the Cusick children died in 1996 in what were ruled at the time to be accidents. Kaelie, 4, was killed when she fell down a flight of stairs. Anthony, 7, died of smoke inhalation in October of 1996 after he was found in a closet where he had apparently been striking matches. According to police at the time, the fire was contained in the closet where matches ignited a coat and the burning coat gave off toxic fumes and smoke that left the boy unconscious. The grand jury will have to decide if there is enough evidence to prove that the two deaths were not accidental.

Helman, 67, of Cromwell, died in a two-pickup collision on Ind. 13 near Syracuse on Oct. 22. According to police reports, Helman’s truck was northbound on Ind. 13 when it made a left turn in front of a southbound truck driven by Edward L. Chivington, 45, North Webster. Chivington was admitted to Kosciusko Community Hospital for one day. His blood alcohol level was reported to be .188 percent, almost twice the legal limit of .1 percent. Kolbe said it will be a challenge to try to prove that Helman’s death was due to a drunk driver. He said that the Indiana law governing OWI deaths changed this year. Before July 1, the prosecution had to prove the death resulted from an OWI, but did not have to prove the driver was at fault. The law now states, “the person who causes the death of another when operating a vehicle while intoxicated” can be charged with the C class felony. Kolbe said it will be more difficult to prove the driver at fault under the new law.

Ulrey, 21, Warsaw, was killed Monday afternoon when a semi hit her car at the intersection of U.S. 30 and CR 150W, Warsaw. According to witnesses’ reports to the police, the semi driven by Michael Lee Sanger, 41, of Sabula, Iowa, apparently ran a red light as Ulrey drove through the intersection. Ulrey was killed instantly. The grand jury will determine if Sanger should be indicted on a criminal recklessness charge for the accident. Kolbe said the grand jury will be chosen by Circuit Court Judge Rex Reed. This is the first grand jury called by either Reed or Kolbe. “It is a privelege to present this to our citizens,” Kolbe said. Reed will call jurors from the pool and select them himself. The six- person jury will be in session for 6 months. Kolbe said the jurors will be given these three cases at his request, but they can choose not to indict.

Two Indicted In Drunk Driving Death 12/04/1997

BY TIFFANY SHAW, Times-Union Staff Writer

A Kosciusko County grand jury has indicted two men in connection with the October death of Virgil L. Helman. The grand jury indicted Edward L. Chivington, 45, North Webster, on two Class C felony charges. The first is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .1 percent or greater causing death. The second is driving while intoxicated causing death. According to police reports, Chivington was driving a pickup south on Ind. 13 near Syracuse at 3 a.m. Oct. 22. He struck Helman’s truck as Helman attempted to turn left in front of the pickup. The other man indicted in Helman’s death is Gary L. Howard, the bartender who served Chivington alcohol before the accident. Howard is charged with a B misdemeanor, serving a person known to be intoxicated. Kosciusko County Prosecutor David Kolbe said this is the first time he knows of Kosciusko County charging a bartender for this crime. “I think this represents the mood of the community on how to address this question, “ Kolbe said at his monthly press conference today. The charges against Chivington were filed in Kosciusko Superior Court Three, and the charges against Howard were filed in Kosciusko Superior Court Two. The grand jury did not indict anyone in the death of Shawnee Ulrey, 21, Warsaw. Ulrey was killed Oct. 27 when a semi struck her car at the intersection of U.S. 30 and CR 150W, Warsaw. According to witnesses, the driver of the semi, Michael Lee Sanger, 41, of Sabula, Iowa, ran through the red lights and struck Ulrey as she headed north on the county road. A third hearing of the grand jury will involve the accidental deaths of two Cusick children. The hearing is set for Dec. 15 and 16.

Arrest Follows Indictment For North Webster Man 12/05/97

BY TIFFANY SHAW, Times-Union Staff Writer

A North Webster man indicted by a Kosciusko County grand jury was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with two felonies. Edward Lynn Chivington, 45, of 7463 E. CR 600N, North Webster, was booked into Kosciusko County Jail and charged with driving while intoxicated causing death and operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than .1 percent causing death, both Class C felonies. Chivington was indicted in the death of Virgil L. Helman, 67, Cromwell. Helman was killed Oct. 22 in a two-pickup collision on Ind. 13 near Syracuse. Initial police reports quoted Chivington’s son, a witness of the accident, as saying Helman turned left in front of Edward Chivington and was hit broadside. Investigation and other witnesses led police to discover that Helman’s pickup was in park when he was hit, while Chivington’s speedometer was stuck at 90 mph. Helman was apparently driving south to deliver newspapers to the apartments on Ind. 13. Police reports state that Helman typically stopped at the apartments and he then walked the papers to the apartment doors. Investigation revealed there were no skid marks, indicating Chivington did not brake before he struck Helman. Chivington struck Helman’s pickup, then both pickups rolled over at least once. According to statements given to Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Chivington and his son left R. C.’s Pier in Syracuse when the bar closed at 2:30 a.m. that morning. The bartender who served Chivington, Gary L. Howard, was also indicted by the grand jury. He will be charged with serving alcohol to a person known to be intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor. Blood tests after the accident revealed Chivington’s alcohol level to be .188 percent, almost twice the legal limit.

Articles reprinted with permission from the Union Times Leader. The Times-Union is an Independent Republican newspaper founded as the Northern Indianian by General Reub Williams on Jan. 21, 1856. It is published daily except Sunday and certain holidays at the Times Building, Indiana and Market streets by Reub Williams and Sons, Inc.

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