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‘I was just completely shocked’ to see woman driving on frozen Indy canal

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A woman accused of driving under the influence steered her car onto the frozen downtown canal Sunday night and drove around until crashing through thin ice, one eyewitness says.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested 33-year-old Biankia Gleason after she was checked and released from Eskenazi Hospital.

Gleason was captured on video driving on the canal near the New York Street bridge by Mason Brauchla, who lives in a building overlooking the canal.

Brauchla tells News 8 he was lucky to capture the video.

“I had actually just gotten home and put away things from Christmas and I was taking out the trash. There’s a little window in the stairwell of our apartments and if I had walked out a second earlier or a second later, I wouldn’t have seen it,” Brauchla said. “Right through the window, I could see the headlights of the car passing by my apartment.”

Gleason told firefighters her GPS took her down to the canal. Online court records show she has been found guilty of driving while never having a license twice and guilty of driving with a suspended license once.

“She was probably going 30 miles an hour at least and she was going in a straight line. She was driving down the right side of the road or the ice at that point,” Brauchla said. “And when she came down here to the north end and turned around, she went back south, definitely going a little slower, and you could see when she passed the ice skaters under the bridge. She was going much slower than she was, originally.”

Brauchla says this is not the first time a car has been near the canal but prior to this accidental cars have stayed on the sidewalk.

“It was surprising, but it wasn’t unbelievable. But then I realized it was on the ice and not on the sidewalk and I was just completely shocked,” Brauchla said.

Brauchla says the frequency of cars down by the canal is a pedestrian safety concern.

“There are some grass hills. You could take (a vehicle) down straight to the sidewalk, so putting some kind of barrier there would definitely be a great step,” Brauchla said.

IMPD was not available to comment on the investigation, but a representative told News 8: “It goes without saying — driving on the canal is not appropriate, even when it freezes.”

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday that the case is still under investigation and criminal charges are pending.

Below is the video Brauchla shared on Twitter:

Provided Video/ Twitter: Mason_Brauchla

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