News and Tribune

November 30, 2011

Investigators await toxicology results from wreck

Report: Driver admitted taking Percocet before fatal crash

By MATT THACKER
Matt.Thacker@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — A Danville, Ky., man admitted taking pain medication and was unable to stay awake shortly after the crash that killed 51-year-old Kevin Hammersmith, of Floyds Knobs, on Nov. 19, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

Wesley S. Bradshaw, 31, was charged last week in Floyd County Superior Court No. 1 with class C felony causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Indiana State Police Trooper Dave Scott said investigators are now awaiting the results from a toxicology screen to determine the full extent of the controlled substances in Bradshaw’s system. If the test reveals the presence of a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance in his blood, he could be charged with a class B felony.

A class C felony carries a sentence of two to eight years, while a class B felony carries a sentence of six to 20 years.

According to police, Hammersmith was hit at 11:30 p.m. while driving northbound on Ind. 111 just south of Budd Road in New Albany. Bradshaw was driving a gold 1998 Toyota passenger vehicle southbound on Ind. 111 when his vehicle crossed the center line and struck Hammersmith’s 2003 Infiniti.

Scott said officers developed probable cause to arrest Bradshaw based on field sobriety tests.

Floyd County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Gene Perrot wrote in the affidavit that he arrived on scene and saw Bradshaw in the back seat of the Toyota. He said Bradshaw’s head kept falling forward, and it looked like he was nodding off to sleep.

According to the report, he was unsteady on his feet when he exited the vehicle. His speech was slurred, and his eyes were bloodshot. Bradshaw told the officer he had not had anything to drink but had taken a Percocet earlier in the day. He admitted to being the driver.

According to court records, Bradshaw initially refused to agree to a chemical blood test, so police requested a search warrant for his blood. While they waited for the judge to sign the order, Bradshaw’s speech became more slurred, and he was unable to stay awake.

When asked why he kept falling asleep, he told police the airbag hit him in the head.

Bradshaw is being held in the Floyd County Jail on $100,000 cash-only bond. No attorney has entered an appearance yet in the case. A hearing to check the status of hiring counsel is scheduled for Dec. 7. Trial is scheduled to begin March 26.

Hammersmith was driving home from the Indiana University Chancellor’s Medallion Dinner when he was killed. He was a regional manager for Duke Energy Indiana and member of the New Albany-Floyd County Parks Board. He previously served as chairman of the executive board at One Southern Indiana and president of Harvest Homecoming.