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Peru woman flees from police

OWI FLEE: All-American Towing pulled the car wrecked by Peru resident Krystal Meeks out of a creek near East Street that was flipped onto its roof. Meeks was arrested followingher attempt to flee from the police in her vehicle earlier that morning on Sunday.

BY CAROLINE EGGERS - ceggers@perutribune.com

A Peru woman drove through a guardrail and flipped her vehicle onto its roof in a creek while fleeing from the police on Sunday.

According to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Peru Police Department Officer Keith Smith, Krystal Meeks, 28, of Peru, was charged with resisting law enforcement in a vehicle, two counts of neglect of a dependent—level six felonies— resisting law enforcement on foot, leaving the scene of an accident, operating while intoxicated, endangering a person, false informing of a crime, and placing a 9-1-1 call for prohibited purposes.

On Sunday at about 1: 43 a.m., Smith began to initiate a traffic stop after reportedly witnessing several traffic infractions and what appeared to be an attempt to evade him by the driver of a Honda sedan.

The vehicle did not attempt to stop, so Smith activated his siren.

The vehicle accelerated, and a chase ensued, according to the affidavit.  

During the chase, Smith lost sight of the vehicle while merging near Canal and East streets, and advised other officers that he suspected the vehicle had “blacked out” by turning off its headlights and taillights.

According to the affidavit, Smith observed skid marks and a missing guardrail about six minutes later, while circling back to Canal and East.

Smith wrote he parked and located the vehicle lying on its roof in a nearby creek.

Dukes Emergency Medical Services and the Peru Fire Department arrived to the scene and helped create a perimeter along with other PPD officers.

During this time, an Indiana State Police trooper reportedly contacted Krystal Meeks’ ex-husband Lee Meeks at his residence.

Lee Meeks informed the officers that Krystal had the sedan and was supposed to be caring for their two children.

PPD Officers Jeremy Brindle and K-9 Darro then arrived and carried out an unsuccessful attempt to track the suspect.

After the track concluded, dispatch advised that Krystal Meeks had reportedly called 9-1-1 at 2:46 a.m. to report that her vehicle was stolen from the residence of 475 E. Third Street—just two blocks from the accident site.

In his affidavit, Smith wrote he and other officers drove to the house.

Meeks came outside with a “stumble” and “stagger,” and had a “fresh or recent injury” on her forehead.

Meeks reportedly told the police that she was sleeping at the Third Street residence when her ex-husband, Lee Meeks, called to tell her that the police were looking for her. She said she then noticed her car was stolen.

She said she hadn’t drank anything for “a while,” and received her forehead injury while jumping on the trampoline with her children at midnight and “watching the stars.”

At this time, Brindle and Smith informed Meeks that they knew the real story and asked her to tell the truth.

According to the affidavit, a male was standing inside the home with the aid of a walker, and waved the officers over and collapsed on the floor.

The officers then “had to assist him to standing,” according to the affidavit.

The male reportedly has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and this caused him to have an “extreme speech disturbance… making it impossible to understand what he was trying to stay,” according to the affidavit.

The two children were sleeping on a mattress on the living room floor, according to the affidavit.

Smith wrote he requested dispatch to contact Lee Meeks to come pick up the children due to the male “being incapable of caring for the children.”

Smith then stated he returned outside to further question Meeks.

He asked if she thought the man would be able to wake up the kids and get them to safety if the house caught on fire, or could feed or clothe the children if they were to wake up, and Krystal answered no.

At around 3:30 a.m., Smith called an ambulance because Meeks is reported to have said she thought she had memory loss, and couldn’t remembering crashing her car. She said she remembered seeing red and blue lights and then woke up on the couch, according to the affidavit.

An ambulance from Dukes EMS arrived on scene, and Meeks requested to be taken to the hospital.

In the ambulance ride, the blood drawn from Meeks at about 3:45 a.m. was later tested and revealed a 0.059 percent BAC.

Based on the rate of elimination, Smith estimated that this would place Krystal’s BAC at between 0.089 and 0.097 percent BAC at about 1:45 a.m.—the time of the crash, according to the affidavit.

At the hospital, a doctor examining Meeks determined that she did not have a concussion, any fractured bones, and was medically cleared to be discharged.

PPD Officer Charlee Pelzel then placed Meeks in handcuffs and transported her to the Miami County Jail where she remains with a $30,000 bond.