Charges: Driver, 64, had THC in system in fatal crash

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The driver of a vehicle that turned into oncoming traffic along Jefferson Boulevard and caused a crash that killed his 75-year-old passenger has been charged with driving under the influence of THC.

Gary Hermes, 64, was charged Wednesday in Allen Superior Court with causing death when operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a controlled substance related to a June 22 crash on Jefferson Boulevard that killed 75-year-old Nancy Downs.

Gary Hermes
Gary Hermes

Police were called around 5 p.m. that June day to the intersection on a report of a two-vehicle crash there. When they arrived on scene, they found both vehicles heavily damaged.

In one vehicle, two people had to be pulled out by fire personnel. The front seat passenger – Downs – was unresponsive. She was taken to a hospital where she later died.

The 17-year-old driver of the other vehicle wasn’t hurt. It’s not clear if Hermes was hurt.

Witnesses told investigators Hermes attempted to make a left-hand turn onto North Glendale from Jefferson and turned directly into the path of the other vehicle.

Investigators at the time said they did not believe impairment was a factor in the crash. In a probable cause affidavit, however, investigators wrote that they found THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana, in his system.

Hermes has another court case pending, again for allegedly driving under the influence. On Jan. 3, Hermes was arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated. That case is pending.