Seymour man faces charges in death of pedestrian late last year

Tribune Staff Reports

A 25-year-old man faces charges of operating while intoxicated with a schedule I or II controlled substance in the body causing death in connection with a pedestrian hit and killed in December on the west side of Seymour.

Spencer Ryan Nichols of Seymour was arrested on that charge as part of the investigation into the death of Mary Ann Wagner, 63, of Seymour.

Wagner was pronounced dead after she was hit by a vehicle in the 600 block of West Tipton Street in an incident reported to police at 5:59 p.m. Dec. 16.

At the time, police said Wagner was walking on the sidewalk on the north side of Tipton Street and stepped into the right westbound lane.

She partially made it across the roadway when she was struck by a Ford Taurus driven by Nichols, Police Chief Bill Abbott said. Nichols was fully cooperative in the incident, Abbott said.

Two witnesses besides Nichols shared their accounts with police and said Wagner had stepped into the lane shortly before she was hit, Abbott said.

Police had difficulty determining Wagner’s identity for nearly 24 hours and asked for the public’s help in identifying her. She was identified around 3 p.m. Dec. 17 after police sent a fingerprint card to the Indiana State Police, which conducted an analysis, Abbott said. Police then found relatives in North Vernon who confirmed her identity.

Abbott said Nichols voluntarily submitted to all of the tests police asked, and those were collected and sent to the state police for examination.

He said at that time, investigators did not believe alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident, but toxicology reports are used to confirm levels.

The prosecutor’s officer sent the probable cause affidavit to Jackson Circuit Court on March 13, and Judge Richard W. Poynter issued a warrant for Nichols’ arrest the next day.