2 seriously injured in drunken driving crash, officials say

69-year-old Footville man suspected of drunken driving crashes into vehicle carrying 4
2 seriously injured in drunken driving crash, officials say
Armand Meier

Two people were seriously injured in a drunken driving crash near Footville on Wednesday night, Rock County officials said.

Around 5:45 p.m. Rock County emergency crews responded to reports of a two-vehicle crash with two people pinned inside a vehicle on Highway 11 at South Footville Road, according to a release.

Deputies found a 2002 Saturn SL1 in the east ditch of Highway 11 with heavy front-end and driver’s-side damage, officials said. The driver and the driver’s-side passenger were pinned inside the vehicle.

Fire crews extricated the driver, James Savoie, 64, of Caro, Michigan, and the passenger, Helen Savoie, 63, also of Caro, according to the release. Both were transported to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center with life-threatening injuries.

The front passenger, Amber Bennett, 31, of Orfordville, and the rear passenger-side passenger, a girl, were not injured, authorities said.

There was also a 1997 Dodge Dakota in the westbound lane of Highway 11 with heavy front-end damage, deputies said. The driver, Armand Meier, 69, of Footville, was not injured.

Investigators said James Savoie was driving west in the Saturn on Highway 11 and Meier was driving east in the Dodge when Meier slowed down to turn left onto South Footville Road.

Meier turned in front of the Saturn and collided with the front driver’s side of the vehicle, which caused it to spin and go into the east ditch, according to the release. Investigators found an empty liquor bottle in Meier’s vehicle and deputies could smell alcohol coming from him. Meier completed field sobriety tests and was arrested on drunken driving charges.

Meier’s preliminary breath test showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.13 percent, deputies said. Meier was cited for first-offense operating while intoxicated, being a driver in possession of open intoxicants, failure to yield right of way for left turn causing great bodily harm and OWI causing injury.

Highway 11 was closed about four hours during the crash investigation.