A Westville man has been charged with driving while intoxicated resulting in
death after a woman who was riding on the back of his motorcycle died when
he lost control early Sunday morning on Silhavy Road in Valparaiso.
Valparaiso resident Erin Shutz, 26, was declared dead at Porter Memorial
Hospital, shortly after she hit a curb head first when Brian S. Ahern, 35,
lost control of his motorcycle, according to the probable cause affidavit
filed by a Valparaiso police officer.
On Monday Ahern was charged with operating a vehicle with an alcohol
concentration equivalent to .08 grams of alcohol in blood resulting in
death, a Class C felony; with operating a vehicle while intoxicated
resulting in death, also a Class C felony; and with two Class C misdemeanor
charges of DWI. If convicted on all four counts, Ahern could be sentenced to
more than 16 years in prison.
According to police, Ahern was driving his motorcycle at approximately 40 to
45 miles per hour on a stretch of Silhavy posted at 15 mph when Shutz
shifted her weight, causing Ahern to hit the rear brake. Police said that
Ahern then lost control, the bike slid on its side and into a curb, and
Shutz fell off, hitting the curb head first. Shutz was not wearing a helmet,
Ahern subsequently registered a blood alcohol content of .102 percent on a
blood test administered at PMH, police said. Motorists in Indiana are
considered legally intoxicated when they score a B.A.C. of .08 percent or
Bond for Ahern has been set at $20,000.