Crash witness: ‘It was horrific. I’ve never seen anything like it.’

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The first week of the Jeremy Washington trial is over, and Friday’s testimonies focused on the second part of this very complex case. Washington faces 11 charges for hitting and killing Bishop Dwenger student Haley Nellum and for a fight and shooting that happened at the Corner Pocket Pub earlier that night in March 2014.

The first four days of the trial involved testimonies about the first part of the case, the fight and shooting. On Friday, multiple crash witnesses and several medics who worked the scene took the stand. The jury and courtroom also heard from the pathologist who performed Haley’s autopsy.

Pathologist Testimony

Dr. Pamela Archuletta took the stand first Friday morning. Her testimony involved walking the jury through the procedure. The prosecution showed the jury nearly twenty pictures of Haley’s horrific injuries. She had major trauma to both the outside and inside of her body, including spinal, rib, and foot fractures. As Dr. Archuletta described each one in great detail, Washington couldn’t look at many of the pictures. At one point, one jury member could be seen crying. Another jury member also looked very pale, like he might get sick.

Crash Witnesses and Medics Testify

Several crash witnesses took the stand following Dr. Archuletta. One witnesses said he saw Haley’s car roll at least ten times. He described running up to her car, trying to get a pulse, and talking to her, but not being able to get anything back in return. He said the crash was so bad he couldn’t even figure out what kind of car Haley was driving.

“It was horrific. I’ve never seen anything like it. The vehicle rolled so many times. It was a huge dust cloud, and you couldn’t see much. Time was frozen still at that point in my mind,” said that witness.

A second crash witness testified that the crash has affected him so much that he couldn’t go back to work full-time for three months after it happened.

“When I drive by that intersection, the memories come up, and I try not to think about it,” said that second witness.

Several of the medics who worked the crash also testified. They, too, had to describe the very difficult and emotionally challenging details of that tragic night.

Toxicology Results 

Both the defense and prosecution agree alcohol is a major factor in this case. Friday afternoon, a forensic toxicologist testified to better explain Washington’s toxicology results. The evidence shows he had between a .09-.16 at the time of the crash, meaning he was intoxicated.

The defense is also claiming Washington acted in self-defense in the fight and shooting. Through testimonies from the other men involved, Brian Ybarra and Chris Martenz, earlier this week, it’s clear they drank heavily that night. During their testimonies, the defense asked then their height, weight, and how many drinks they consumed that night. That information all came into play Friday afternoon when the defense questioned the forensic toxicologist. She asked the doctor if she could estimate someone’s blood alcohol content based in his or her height, weight, and how many drinks consumed in a certain time period. The doctor declined, saying she didn’t feel comfortable calculating that estimation while on the stand. The doctor testified for nearly two hours.

Other Testimonies

Other testimonies Friday included a traffic engineer for the City of Fort Wayne, a geographic information system coordinator for Allen County, and one of the automotive technicians that worked on Washington’s car after the crash.

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