By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
A Clinton man will receive prison time for a personal injury accident involving alcohol.
Shawn L. Vanpelt, 36, 633 Fourth Ave. South, apartment two, was sentenced last week after previously pleading guilty to operating while intoxicated, third offense and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. Judge Gary McKenrick sentenced him to as much as five years in the Iowa Department of Corrections and fined him $3,125 for the first charge. Vanpelt also was ordered to serve as much as two years in prison for the other charge. A $625 fine was suspended. The two sentences will be served concurrently.
According to the affidavit, the charges are from an incident on Aug. 11, where Clinton police officers were dispatched to the 500 block alley between Third and Fourth avenues south for a vehicle versus pedestrian accident. According to court documents, the pedestrian victim, Darrell Freeman, told officers that he and other witnesses observed Vanpelt driving his truck up and down the alley behind the residence at 541 Third Ave. South, at a fast rate of speed.
When Vanpelt stopped westbound in the alley, Freeman approached the vehicle on the driver’s side to speak to him about slowing down, according to the affidavit. Freeman and witnesses told officers that Vanpelt then backed the truck up, striking Freeman and causing him to fall down.
When officers arrived at the scene, Freeman was lying in the alley, complaining about pain in his right arm, according to court documents. He was transported to Mercy Medical Center North and it was determined that he suffered three fractures to his right elbow and damage to the tendons in his right hand.
According to the affidavit, officers observed a black-colored Dodge truck, registered to Vanpelt, which had struck a utility pole in the alley just to the east of South Sixth Street. A witness directed officers to the 600 block alley where he said the driver, later identified as Vanpelt, was located, according to the affidavit. According to court records, the witness saw Vanpelt strike the telephone pole and then leave on foot, westbound in the alley.
Vanpelt was found lying in the alley, complaining of pain in his head, according to the affidavit. An officer stabilized his neck and Vanpelt was placed on a backboard and transported to Mercy. While speaking with Vanpelt, the officer detected the distinct odor of alcohol coming from his facial area and observed that his speech was thick and slurred, according to the affidavit.
While at Mercy, Vanpelt consented to a preliminary breath test, which yielded a result in excess of .08 percent blood alcohol content, according to court documents. A blood sample was collected by a phlebotomist at Mercy using an OWI Blood Kit, after Vanpelt signed the implied consent advisory, according to the affidavit. The results were received on Sept. 3 and showed a blood alcohol content of .225 percent, according to the affidavit.
Vanpelt told the court that he wants to get through his punishment and put this incident behind him. McKenrick sentenced him to incarceration. The matter of victim restitution was left open. McKenrick dismissed charges of serious injury by a vehicle, driving while revoked and striking fixtures upon a highway.