A New Albany man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated vehicular assault in connection with an April traffic crash on U.S. 23 that injured a Dublin woman.
Charles Howell, 35, of New Albany, was released on his own recognizance after his arraignment Monday in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Prosecutors say Howell was under the influence of drugs April 27 when he was driving south in a red Chevrolet Malibu on U.S. 23. State troopers said Howell veered left of center at the intersection of U.S. 23 and Gooding Boulevard at 4:18 p.m. and struck a vehicle driven by Susan Glander, of Dublin, head-on while she was waiting to turn in the left-turn lane on U.S. 23 North.
Glander was transported to Riverside Methodist Hospital. Her collarbone was reportedly broken.
Troopers spoke to Howell at the scene and said he was slow to answer questions, had droopy eyelids and was unaware of the date. Howell also refused to give a blood sample at the scene. Howell told troopers at the accident scene that he had taken 2 mg of Xanax the previous night to help him fall asleep.
Howell appeared in front of Judge David Gormley Monday morning and entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of aggravated vehicular assault, which is a third-degree felony; a charge of vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony; and a charge of operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Howell was indicted by a county grand jury on a vehicular assault charge on June 12, and was indicted again on June 26 — with the aggravated vehicular assault charge and operating vehicle under the influence of drugs charge added to the indictment — when results of blood tests were returned to investigators.
A trial date of Oct. 22 was scheduled.