Roundabout design not to blame for fatal wreck

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On St. Patrick’s Day, a 39-year-old Carmel resident died after crashing a vehicle into a concrete barrier in the middle of a roundabout.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the design of the roundabout isn’t to blame and that alcohol is the likely cause of the crash.

“The roundabout had nothing to do with it,” he said. “We should have the toxicology report back soon, but paraphernalia was found in the vehicle as well as evidence of alcohol use. The motorist was exceeding the speed limit by a large amount.”

The driver was identified as Lambert Doll. Police said he was heading south on Westfield Boulevard near the county border when he failed to negotiate the roundabout at 96th Street and collided shortly after 10:30 p.m. March 17. He was taken to St. Vincent Hospital where he died.

Brainard said it’s very sad that the motorist died, but he noted that head-on collisions with other drivers are more likely with a traffic light as opposed to a roundabout.

“It’s really unfortunate that this happened,” he said. “Unfortunately you can’t make intersections completely accident-proof, especially when speeding and alcohol are involved.”

When asked about paying for roundabout repairs, he said that’s usually handled through a motorist’s insurance company.

In instances where a driver doesn’t have insurance, Carmel has sought restitution for roundabout damages. On Nov. 2, Sangyong Lee crashed a Toyota Sienna minivan at the roundabout at Fourth Avenue Southwest and West Main Street. Lee hit a fountain in the middle of the roundabout, just outside the Carmel Arts & Design District archways and fled on foot. Lee’s blood-alcohol reading was 0.05, a news release said. In late February, Lee agreed to a plea deal of four days in the Hamilton County Jail, 176 days probation and restitution to the city of $17,753 in 90 days.

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