Man faces charges following fatality
A Corydon man was charged last week with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, OWI causing serious bodily injury, inhaling toxic vapors and leaving the scene of an accident.
On Feb. 9, at about 2:37 p.m., Joseph Dale Chandler, 28, Corydon, driving a black GMC pick-up truck, crashed into a tree off of S.R. 337, according to an affidavit for probable cause compiled by Detective Nick Smith with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Dept.
Chandler told police he had blacked out while driving and crashed into the tree. He also said a change had recently been made regarding a prescription drug he took.
The front-seat passenger, Michelle Brown, 41, died at the scene as a result of the collision.
The back-seat passenger, Ashley Dawn Allen, 19, was flown via Air Methods to University Hospital in Louisville with multiple injuries, including a broken arm and jaw.
On Feb. 23, Smith, through an interview with Allen, learned Chandler had driven Allen and her mother (Brown) to Walmart in his father’s truck.
‘Ashley explained that Joseph asked Michelle to go into Walmart and purchase him two cans of ‘air duster’,’ the affidavit said. ‘Ashley went on to say that Joseph started ‘huffing’ the duster.’
Chandler left Walmart and continued to downtown Corydon, where he collided with a parked car near Butt Drugs, it said.
‘Ashley said that he continued away from the scene of the accident, continuing to ‘huff’ the air duster,’ Smith said.
Allen said Chandler was supposed to drop her and her mother off at their home along Wiseman Road when the crash occurred. She also said Chandler was still ‘huffing’ the air duster after the vehicle left the roadway, just prior to the collision with the tree.
A can of Ultra Duster, which contains toxic difluoroethane, was found in the truck.
According to a technical data sheet provided by the manufacturer, overexposure by inhalation may include nonspecific discomfort, such as nausea, headache or weakness, temporary nervous system depression with anesthetic effects such as dizziness, headache, confusion, incoordination and loss of consciousness.
During an interview with Smith, Chandler said it was the second time he had inhaled duster. The previous time, he said, he blacked out and his mother called an ambulance.