On February 9, 2023, Ryann Scott Early, 36, was sentenced to the Indiana Department of Corrections for six years for driving drunk and crashing into another vehicle leaving the other driver paralyzed from the neck down. The total sentence handed down by Boone County Superior Court II Judge Bruce Petit was 10 years with 6 years at the Department of Corrections followed by 4 years of probation.
In November of 2022, Early was found guilty of the following counts following a contested bench trial:
Count I: Causing Catastrophic Injury When Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, a Level 4
Count II: Causing Catastrophic Injury When Operating a Vehicle with an ACE of .08 or More, a
Level 4 Felony
Count Ill: Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Endangering a Person, a Class A Misdemeanor
Count IV: Operating a Vehicle with an ACE of .08 or More, a Class C Misdemeanor
Count V: Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, a Class C Misdemeanor
Count VI: Public Intoxication, a Class B Misdemeanor.
The charges stem from acts by Early on October 18, 2020, at 7:15 a.m. in Whitestown area of Boone County. Evidence presented at trial established that Early was operating a Toyota Tacoma truck on East County Road 400 South and that Early’s vehicle completely crossed over a double yellow line into the on-coming lane of traffic (while attempting to pass a vehicle) and hit a Honda Accord head on. The driver of the Honda Accord suffered significant injuries that has left her a quadriplegic requiring assistance for all self-care activities and mobility.
Through the law enforcement investigation, it was determined that at the time of the crash Early’s vehicle was going 79 mph in an area with a posted speed limited 40 mph. After the crash, Early provided a blood sample pursuant to the Indiana Implied Consent law. Upon testing, Mr. Early blood alcohol concentration equivalent was found to be 0.142 of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood at the time he operated the vehicle. The blood alcohol level was in excess of 1 ½ times the legal limit.