Judge Orders Year In Jail For Reckless Driving Crash

Posted On March 31, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

(Dearborn County, Ind.) – A Harrison man has been sentenced to a year in jail for causing a serious car crash in 2015.

Jesse Manning, 32, pleaded guilty to Reckless Driving (class A misdemeanor) on March 7. After listening to testimony from victims of the wreck Manning caused, Dearborn Superior Court II Judge Sally McLaughlin sentenced him to 365 days in jail with no time suspended to probation on Tuesday, March 28.

Manning was driving 61 in a 40 MPH zone on Jamison Road in Bright on November 30, 2015. He crossed into the opposite lane of the windy, two-lane road and crashed into another vehicle, seriously injuring a mother and trapping her two children.

That mother had picked up her two children from Bright Elementary School.

“(The mother’s) testimony paints a picture of a heroic mother faced with a horrific situation,” McLaughlin wrote in her sentencing order, “in which she hears her son and daughter crying and although she is trapped in the vehicle, noticing her leg is deformed, feeling her ribs cracking, she is able to direct her son to call his dad and attempts to comfort her 10-year-old daughter who is pinned in the back seat and is a special needs child.”

The woman had suffered a shattered femur, a broken pelvis, a broken back, a punctured lung, broken ribs, and internal bleeding resulting in several surgeries.

Manning was also hurt, but Dearborn County Sheriff’s deputies never determined if he was driving while intoxicated.

“No apparent investigation was done to determine if the defendant was an impaired driver which may have been hampered by the severity of the injuries and need for immediate treatment,” McLaughlin noted.

The judge did take notice of five previous operating while intoxicated arrests – all in Kentucky – for Manning, including two when he was a juvenile. The most recent was in 2013.

Manning self-reported that he used marijuana six months before the sentencing. He expressed sorrow for the victims, but tempered the statement by saying he had suffered, too. Neither statements sat well with the judge.

Because he was driving while uninsured at the time of the wreck, Manning may also be ordered to pay the victims restitution following a court hearing on April 6.