Details of deadly crash emerge during court hearing

Andrew Serafini on the way to his first court appearance.

BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE)  An Ossian teen appeared before a Wells County judge Thursday morning on two felony counts of reckless homicide for an October 14 crash that killed two Norwell High School students.

A not guilty plea was entered for Andrew Serafini, 19, who requested a public defender because he has no financial assets to pay for an attorney.

Police say Serafini had been drinking when he lost control of his 2006 Chevy Equinox on County Road 900 North and ended up in a ditch. Johnny Kidwell, 18, who had been sitting in the rear seat on the passenger’s side and James McCune, 17, who was sitting in the front passenger seat were both pronounced dead at the scene. A third passenger, Abbagail Harris, 19, who had been sitting in the rear seat on the driver’s side survived the crash. The passengers were all wearing seat belts.

Mug shot of Andrew Serafini courtesy the Wells County Sheriff's Department.
Mug shot of Andrew Serafini courtesy the Wells County Sheriff’s Department.

Data obtained from the vehicle’s air bag module indicated the SUV was traveling at 104 miles per hour just before the crash and that the brakes had not been applied.

According to court documents, Serafini and Harris had begun drinking at 10 am at McCune’s home, as McCune’s parents were not there.  At around 2:30 that afternoon McCune arrived home from school and he began drinking as well.  The group then left the home and and picked up Johnny Kidwell.  The crash occurred at about 5 pm.

The analysis of a blood sample taken from Serafini at the hospital where he had was being treated indicated he had a BAC of .156% which is well over the legal limit.

Besides the reckless homicide counts, Serafini also faces a charge of illegal consumption and a charge of causing death while operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more.

Serafini’s bail was set at $30,500 and a pre-trial conference has been scheduled for January 7, 2015.




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