Arrest Made Two Months After Crash Kills Evansville Bakery Owner

“He is charged with driving while intoxicated causing death in this case. He has a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated,” says Vanderburgh County Special Prosecutor Stan Levco.

William Buckman remains in jail after facing a Vanderburgh Circuit Court judge Tuesday who upheld his $15,000 cash bond. Buckman was arrested Monday for his involvement in a car crash that killed Darla Smith in February. Evansville Police say at the time of the fatal accident Buckman was under the influence.

“Now what we are seeing is all hours of the day and night anywhere in town, it is not necessarily with just the bars letting out anymore,” says Evansville Police Sergeant Jason Cullum.

An accident report says Smith was traveling South on First Avenue February 12th when she was hit just before 9 A.M. Police say Buckman was driving North on First Avenue and crossed the median near the intersection at Diamond Avenue.

“Because of that he struck Mrs. Smith head on we believe at a high rate of speed,” says Sgt. Cullum.

Police say half of the impaired drivers in Evansville are under the influence.

“Whether it’s drugs or alcohol it can lead to tragedies like this,” says Cullum.

Smith’s family, and the community are mourning the loss of a staple business and owner of The Daily Annex Bakery on Main Street. Another business has moved into the former bakery, but the owner told 44News reporter Amanda Porter that the company plans on keeping The Daily Annex sign in the window.

“This wasn’t a spur of the moment thing. This wasn’t somebody just lost their temper,” says Cullum.

“This was a premeditated act to put something into his body and then drive a car. These tragedies are just as tragic, but they are preventable. That is the big difference.”

Smith’s son Jason Daily says, “We can’t replace the loss of Darla. We have all been grieving. We have been patiently waiting for William Buckman’s charges.”

Buckman is expected back in court August 13th.



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