Charged Duke Energy driver has history of driving drunk - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Charged Duke Energy driver has history of driving drunk

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

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

VILLAGE OF BATAVIA, OH (FOX19)  - Court records show Kenneth Mathers has a history of alcohol-related driving incidents.

On Monday evening, Batavia Police said the 59-year old was still behind bars. Officers said Mathers did not post the bond which was set at $5,000 on Monday morning.

It's a fate his neighbors said they can't believe.

"I've never had a problem with him," said neighbor Paul Muth. "Always been a pretty good neighbor, as far as I'm concerned."

Neighbors said Mathers kept to himself.

"I know he likes drinking beer," said Muth. "But a lot of people like drinking beer. He always did it in the house. I can't say that I've ever seen him driving drunk."

But Sunday, Batavia police said that was exactly what Mathers was doing.

Officers said Mathers was drunk while he drove his Duke Energy truck on Foundry Avenue near Route 132. He collided with a mini-van and another car. Three people in this mini-van were hospitalized. One was flown to University Hospital. All of the victims are expected to survive.

"Kenneth Mathers was arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs," said Batavia police officer Raymond Swallen. "He did refuse {a breathalyzer test} so he was cited for operating a vehicle while under the influence."

And that wasn't Mathers' first run-in with the law.

According to court records, in 2009, he was convicted of having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Bethel police said they found his vehicle in an elementary school parking lot. Mathers was inside it. He was slumped over the wheel.

And in 1997, Mathers pleaded guilty to driving drunk.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Sally Thelan said Mathers has worked for the company for 41 years, most recently as a truck driver. She said on Sunday, Mathers was installing a utility pole.

She also issued this statement:

"We take safety seriously at Duke Energy. We're working closely with police to determine all factors involved in the crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved in the crash."

Mathers now faces administrative leave, pending the results of the investigation.

FOX19 also spoke with Mathers' wife off camera. She tells us her husband is a good man who made a bad mistake, and she's praying for his victims.

 

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