Columbus woman arrested after construction-zone wreck

A 33-year-old Bartholomew County woman faces criminal charges related to a wreck Tuesday night on U.S. 31 north of Seymour, police report.

Pamoja Engelking, 33, of Columbus initially was charged with Level 6 felony charges of neglect of a dependent and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated with a minor under 18 in the vehicle.

According to a report from Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Rick Meyer, the incident that led to her arrest began after a witness told police they were following a possible impaired driver in a white 2013 Chevrolet Impala through a one-lane construction zone.

At the south end of that zone near County Road 600N, the witness said the driver of the Impala, later identified as Engelking, hit a vehicle head-on. That vehicle, driven by Bill Stout of Seymour, was stopped at a red light at the south end of the construction zone.

Stout, who wasn’t injured in the incident, said Engelking was only driving about 5 mph at the time and failed to move into the southbound lane after clearing the construction zone. A 4-year-old child in Engelking’s car was uninjured.

The caller following Engelking said she had also damaged a guardrail, a mailbox and a newspaper box in the 8000 block of U.S. 31 North before the incident in the construction zone.

Seymour officers Jeremy Helmsing, Jacob Florine and Seth Sage assisted Meyer with the wreck investigation and cleanup.

Engelking, who was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 10:42 p.m. Tuesday, also faces charges of blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater and leaving the scene of an accident. She was being held on $355 bond Thursday afternoon.