Police investigate crash involving Duke Energy driver - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Police investigate crash involving Duke Energy driver

Kenneth Mathers (Source: Clermont County Jail) Kenneth Mathers (Source: Clermont County Jail)

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

VILLAGE OF BATAVIA, OH (FOX19)  - A Duke Energy driver has been arrested after he is suspected of drinking and driving while on the job.

Batavia Police Chief Mike Gardner said Kenneth Mathers, 59, was arrested and charged with OVI (refusal) and driving left of center. Chief Gardner said the incident happened near 358 Foundry Avenue, off State Route 132, around 2:44 p.m on Sunday.

Pamela Rudd and her husband Melvin were outside setting up for a yard sale when the accident occurred. Pamela said she first heard a loud boom.

"I ran," said Rudd. "I told my husband to call 911. I got to the first vehicle. The person in the second vehicle had also run to the first vehicle. There were five people in the vehicle; four of which were badly injured."

Pamela, a nurse, worked to help the victims. She said Mathers kept driving.

"After he hit them, he kept going and went maybe 500 feet, stopped his truck, turned around, came back to the site, walked up and said, 'Did I do this?'" Pamela said.

It's unclear exactly what happened, but police said the accident involved three vehicles: a Duke Energy truck, a mini van and a passenger vehicle. There were five people in the mini van. Police said three of them were taken to the hospital. One of those victims was flown to University Hospital. Pamela said everyone inside the min van was unconscious. Police said the driver of the second vehicle was not injured.

Chief Gardner said officers gave Mathers several field sobriety tests.

"Well, I was standing here watching them give him the test," said Melvin Rudd who also heard the crash. "He was either drunk or awful cripple."

"He was non-combative," Pamela said. "He answered all their questions, but he was, apparently, you could tell that he had been drinking. It looked like he had some sort of issue with his knee or hip where he had problems walking the white line. But he couldn't answer the questions without stumbling over his words. And when asked, I heard him, I directly heard him say, yes, I have had some to drink."

Police said Mathers was not injured. He's currently behind bars at the Clermont County jail.

Police said the injuries of the three victims are not life threatening.

"I said they're probably going to need her medical insurance when she gets to the hospital," Pamela said. "Her boyfriend said she doesn't have any insurance. She has no money."

Duke Energy Spokeswoman Sally Thelan issued this statement:

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family in the other vehicle. We take safety very seriously at Duke Energy. We're working closely with police to determine all factors involved in today's accident. We will take the appropriate action once the investigation is complete."


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