Nadine Bolduan

Nadine Bolduan

ALBION — The driver in a U.S. 6 crash last year that seriously injured a Ligonier man received a one-year term in the Indiana Department of Correction Thursday.

Nadine Bolduan, 60, Goshen, also had her driving privileges suspended for five years under the sentence handed down by Noble Circuit Court Judge David Laur.

“I guess I feel better if you’re off the road,” Judge Laur told Bolduan.

Laur suspended one year of Bolduan’s two-year sentence. He also ordered her to undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

On May 31, 2012, Bolduan was driving east on U.S. 6 near C.R. 600 East, west of Kendallville, in a Chevrolet Avalanche. Bolduan swerved around traffic slowed ahead of her, and her vehicle collided nearly head-on with a Buick LeSabre driven by Paul Fought of Ligonier.

Fought was pinned in his vehicle after the crash. Freed by emergency personnel, he was airlifted by Samaritan helicopter to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. Bolduan suffered head pain as a result of the crash and was taken to Parkview Noble Hospital in Kendallville, where she was treated and released.

Police said Bolduan was given a portable breath test at the scene and it recorded a breath alcohol content of .17 percent. Police said Bolduan declined to take a certified breath test at their department, so a search warrant was obtained and a blood test result showed Bolduan had a blood alcohol content of .19 percent.

In February, Bolduan pleaded guilty in Noble Circuit Court to a charge of driving while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury. During those proceedings, she said she’d had two glasses of red wine prior to the crash.

Commenting on that testimony Thursday, Judge Laur said, “It takes a lot of wine to get to .17.”

‘I almost died’

Given the chance to make a statement, a tearful Bolduan spoke of the agony Fought suffered. Bolduan said she was sorry her poor decision impacted Fought and his family so badly.

“I’m sorry and I beg your forgiveness,” she said. “I will never forget this. I will hold it close to my heart that I hurt somebody.”

The man she hurt spoke in court, too.

“I almost died that day,” Fought said of May 31, 2012. He described injuries including a concussion, three brain bleeds, a compound fracture in his left femur, and a torn rotator cuff.

“A total of nine surgeries is what I went through,” Fought said. “...It’s all because of a poor choice.”

Fought also said he lost his job of 26 years.

“I’m 59 years old,” he said. “It’s very hard to find work.”

Fought talked about living in constant pain. He expressed to Bolduan that actions have consequences.

He also told Bolduan she has his forgiveness.

“I forgive you because I have a God that through Jesus Christ has forgiven me,” Fought said.

Under Laur’s ruling, Bolduan will be housed in a facility where she can receive medical care. During the hearing, Bolduan’s husband Jeffrey, a physician, outlined health problems Nadine has experienced.

Bolduan also asked Judge Laur not to incarcerate his wife of 40 years.

“I just don’t see the gain to put a 60-year-old, not-well woman in jail,” Jeffrey Bolduan said in emotional testimony. “I ask for your mercy.”

Prior crash

Judge Laur pointed out that Nadine Bolduan has no prior felony record.

However, Bolduan was charged with reckless homicide in 1994 by a Kosciusko County grand jury after her Jet Ski struck two children on Syracuse Lake on the Fourth of July of that year.

Elizabeth Leman, 9, Fort Wayne, was killed in that crash and Christa Konarski, 10, Elkhart, was seriously injured when Bolduan’s Jet Ski landed on top of them as they rode on an inner tube behind a boat, according to police reports from that event.

Kosciusko County changed prosecutors and in 1995 new prosecutor David Kolbe had the court dismiss the charges against Bolduan.

Kolbe said he thought her actions that day in 1994 were negligent but did not constitute recklessness. He suggested the case would be better handled in civil court.

Civil lawsuits in 1995 naming Nadine and Jeffrey Bolduan as defendants were settled in Elkhart County, with the Bolduans having to pay Konarski more than $1 million. The settlement with the Lehman family was not disclosed.

Regarding the 2012 U.S. 6 crash, Nadine and Jeffrey Bolduan are targeted in a civil lawsuit brought by Paul and Nancy Fought for damages. As such, Judge Laur did not order restitution Thursday, saying that matter is to be determined.

Goshen News staffer Roger Schneider contributed to this report.

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