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Former Whitestown man found guilty of OWI during crash that left victim paralyzed

Ryann Early's BAC was nearly 1.5 times the legal limit
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Posted at 11:04 PM, Dec 21, 2022
and last updated 2023-02-10 16:37:28-05

BOONE COUNTY — A former resident of Whitestown has been found guilty of multiple charges related to a 2020 crash that severely injured a woman.

On Oct. 28, 2020, Ryann Early, 36, was driving around 7:15 a.m. when he tried to pass a vehicle. Early and his vehicle completely crossed over the double yellow line into oncoming traffic and hit another car head-on.

Prosecutors say the driver of the other car had several injuries, including a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed. She is now a quadriplegic and requires assistance for all self-care activities and mobility.

Investigators learned Early was driving at 79 miles per hour in a 40 miles per hour area on East County Road 400 South. His blood alcohol concentration was .0142, nearly double the legal limit of .08.

Early told officers he had "a few beers" at a bonfire the night before the rash but stopped drinking around 10 p.m.

Early was found guilty of the following:

  1. Causing Catastrophic Injury When Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated
  2. Causing Catastrophic Injury When Operating a Vehicle with an ACE of .08 or More
  3. Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Endangering a Person
  4. Operating a Vehicle with an ACE of .08 or More
  5. Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated
  6. Public Intoxication, a Class B Misdemeanor

On Feb. 9, Early was sentenced to six years in prison followed by four years of probation.

"Drunk driving continues to be a significant public safety issue in our community. Drunk driving cases represent the most filed and litigated type of case in Boone County. Drunk drivers continue to kill over 10,000 people a year in our country, and the past year Indiana has seen an increase in impaired driving deaths," Prosecutor Kent Eastwood said in a statement. "This crime and resulting life altering injuries were completely preventable and we as citizens of Boone County must be vigilant in preventing this type of crime from happening.”