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Man charged with OWI going wrong way on I-69, killing Fort Wayne couple

Wife and husband Victoria E. Cox and Evan D. Cox. (Provided Photo/FairHaven Funeral Home and Cremation Services)

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — An Indianapolis man was formally charged Wednesday after investigators say he was drunk while driving the wrong way on I-69 in Delaware County, causing a four-vehicle crash that killed a husband and wife from Fort Wayne.

Victoria E. Cox, 32, and Evan D. Cox, 26, died in the crash that happened about 2:30 a.m. Nov. 12 on I-69 southbound near the Daleville exit. Madison County Central Dispatch about 10 minutes earlier had received a call of a driver going the wrong way on I-69, Indiana State Police say.

Investigators initially learned a silver Kia Forte, driven by 30-year-old Walter Saucedo-Mendoza, was gong north in the southbound lanes when it hit a white Chevrolet Malibu. The Coxes were in the Malibu. After the cars crashed head-on, the Kia’s engine dislodged and landed in the left lane of the interstate, and a silver Volkswagen hit the engine. The Kia then also hit a semitruck going southbound and came to an “uncontrolled rest,” police say.

An ambulance took Saucedo-Mendoza to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, where a blood draw was done, and he later was flown to an Indianapolis hospital. Saucedo-Mendoza’s blood-alcohol count was later determined to be 0.186. That’s more than twice Indiana’s threshold for drunken driving, 0.08.

The other two drivers in the crash were not injured, police say.

Saucedo-Mendoza was charged Wednesday in Delaware Circuit Court 1 with six felonies: two counts of OWI causing death; two counts of reckless homicide; and two counts of criminal recklessness.

Saucedo-Mendoza was released from Delaware County jail on Feb. 3 and remained at large Thursday afternoon, according to the jail. He’d been released from jail after posting a $40,000 bond.

Walter Saucedo-Mendoza (Provided Photo/Delaware County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Office)

The southbound lanes of I-69 were shut down for about four and a half hours for the investigation and to clear the crash.