Deadly crash in Miami County leads to arrest of suspected drunk driver


Andrew Winch (booking photo courtesy of Miami County Jail)

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PERU, Ind. — Police have arrested a man suspected of drunk driving after a crash claimed the life of an 83-year old woman and severely injured another woman, both from Peru.

According to Indiana State Police (ISP), troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash at 5th and Benton Streets on Sunday around 7:44 p.m., along with the Miami County Sheriff’s Department and the Peru Police Department.

Police said Andrew Winch, 21, of Peru, was driving a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck westbound on 5th St. and allegedly disregarded a stop sign at the intersection of Benton St.

Winch struck a southbound 2019 Honda CRV driven by Norman Knowlton, 76, of Peru, on the driver’s side.

A passenger in the CRV, Mary A. Hipskind, 83, of Peru, died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash, according to police.

Another passenger in the CRV, Barbara Knowlton, 72, of Peru, was taken by ambulance to Duke’s Memorial Hospital, and was later flown by medical helicopter to Ft Wayne’s Lutheran Hospital with life threatening injuries.

Winch, Norman Knowlton and a third CRV passenger, Joseph Hipskind, 81, of Peru, were not injured in the crash.

ISP said an investigation showed Winch allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C.) over the .08 B.A.C. limit at the time of the crash, in which Indiana law considers a driver intoxicated.

Speeding is also believed to be a contributing factor in the crash, police said.

Winch was taken to the Miami County Jail and faces charges including operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, and reckless homicide.

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