Chesterton Tribune

Mother who pleaded to OWI in accident which killed daughter charged with OWI

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A Porter resident who served jail time more than 10 years ago—after pleading guilty to charges of child neglect and operating while intoxicated in connection with an accident which took the life of her 6-year-old daughter—was arrested Thursday on charges of OWI, resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct, and possession of a legend drug, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

According to police, at 11:57 p.m. Christine Timm, 41, of 550 Francis St., was stopped in the area of U.S. Highway 12 and C.R. 500E after an officer clocked her at 56 miles per hour in a zone posted at 40 mph. Police said that the officer also observed Timm attempt to turn onto C.R. 500E but drive instead into a grassy field.

Timm showed signs of intoxication and failed several field sobriety tests but refused to submit to a chemical test, police said. A warrant for a blood draw was subsequently obtained and executed at Porter hospital, on which Timm registered a blood alcohol content of .24 percent and tested positive for opiates, police said. Motorists in Indiana are considered legally intoxicated when they score a B.A.C. of .08 percent or higher.

Police said that Timm resisted while being handcuffed and had to be physically restrained and that while en route to Porter hospital she screamed expletives at the investigating officer. Police also said that Timm continued to scream expletives at officers at the hospital and “was disrespectful to the staff.”

One tablet of Tramadol, a legend drug, was recovered from Timm’s person, police said.

Timm—who was issued citations for speeding, improper turn at intersection, and failure to obey a traffic control device—was transported to Porter County Jail.

The 1998 Accident

In his report the investigating officer quoted Timm—when asked whether she had ever been convicted of OWI—as saying this: “In 1998 I was driving and my 5-year-old daughter was hanging out the window like a retard. I ran over her and killed her.”

Timm was referring to an accident which occurred on July 20, 1998, when Timm’s 6-year-old daughter Danielle fell under the car’s rear tire after perching herself in the open window of the front passenger’s seat, as Timm was westbound in the 500 block of Franklin Street. Timm advised that she felt “a bump in the road” but police said that she continued driving another 265 feet before finally stopping.

Danielle died of a skull fracture and chest injuries.

Timm registered a B.A.C. of .151 percent on a blood test while a urine test showed the presence of marijuana and amphetamines in her system.

In 1999, Timm pleaded guilty to neglect of a dependent and OWI in a plea agreement under which she would have served no jail time. But Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper—calling the case “an absolute tragedy”—rejected the terms of the agreement and instead sentenced Timm to three years with all but 120 days suspended, 60 of those days to be served in jail and the other 60 in community service. Timm was also placed on 32 months of formal probation, with six of those months on home detention.

In addition, Harper suspended Timm’s license for 90 days, ordered her to undergo counseling, and ordered her to be responsible for obtaining counseling for the other four children who were in her car at the time of the accident.

Finally, Harper ordered Timm to abstain from alcohol and drug use.

 

 

Posted 2/10/2012