19-year-old charged with DUI after crashing into Taylor County deputy

Joseph Austin Dingeldein (Tygart Valley Regional Jail)

TAYLOR COUNTY—A Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy has been released from the hospital following an accident on Wednesday.

Taylor County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Edwin “Ed” Delgado was struck by a vehicle while investigating a single-vehicle accident on Corbin Branch Road and sustained injuries to his head, legs and hips/pelvic area.

After being transported to United Hospital Center for his injuries, the officer was flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital. According to reports, he was released Thursday evening.

Delgado was on scene of a wreck involving a possible DUI (driving under the influence), where the driver of a pickup truck had crashed into a ditch. 

While out of his vehicle speaking with the driver, a second truck driven by 19-year-old Joseph Austin Dingeldein, of Flemington, struck both the officer and his cruiser.

According to West Virginia State Police Corporal Loren Knotts, after being dispatched to the scene, he arrived to find Dingeldein’s white Ford Tacoma in a head-on type collision with Delgado’s department issued Ford Interceptor cruiser.

 The report notes that not only had Dingeldein struck the officer and his cruiser, but he had also made contact with the already wrecked truck in the ditch.

While talking with officers, the 19-year-old recalled that he had come around a turn and was unable to see the vehicle’s lights until last minute. Dingeldein reported that he had attempted to avoid the crash but ended up striking the two vehicles and Delgado.

The complaint further states that Dingeldein advised that he had attempted to provide aid to Delgado following the accident.

During the investigation, Cpl. Knotts detected the odor of alcoholic beverage on the defendant’s breath and noted that his eyes were red and bloodshot, according to the complaint.

The Trooper administered a battery of field sobriety tests, and Dingeldein reportedly failed all of the assessments. The driver was then given a preliminary breath test, and he too failed that.

Dingeldein was arrested and taken to the Taylor County Jail for processing. During that time, he was issued a secondary chemical test, which yielded a reading of a blood alcohol content of 0.127. The legal limit is 0.08.

Knotts charged Dingeldein with DUI with serious injury.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Deputy N. T. Queen, who took over the primary investigation following Delgado’s injury, the driver of the truck in the initial wreck, identified as 24-year-old Craig Allen Wallace, of Mount Claire, was also charged with DUI.

During his investigation, Wallace admitted to Queen that he had been drinking and drove into the ditch. He underwent field sobriety tests and an intoximeter test, which returned a blood alcohol content of 0.192.

Wallace was taken to Grafton City Hospital to treatment of injuries sustained in the accident and then was transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

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