BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A Siloam Springs man pleaded not guilty Monday (Feb. 11) to causing his stepson’s death in a drunk driving crash last month.
Michael Guest, 38, is charged in Benton County Circuit Court with negligent homicide, first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and driving while intoxicated.
Siloam Springs police arrested Guest on Jan. 3 after he crashed his truck into a fountain at Main Street and U.S. 412, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Police arrived on scene to find Guest outside of the truck. He told police his stepson was still in the truck, which was on its side and submerged in the fountain.
Police and firefighters entered the water and flipped the truck upright so they could pull Guest’s stepson, Tyner Levi Hemmitt, out of the truck.
Hemmitt, 11, was taken to Siloam Springs Regional Hospital before being transported to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, where he was placed on life support.
Hemmitt died Jan. 8. Medical records showed that Hemmitt sustained a severe lung injury and a hypoxia head injury.
Police said they found no physical evidence that Guest tried to slow down before running into the concrete cinder blocks of the pond.
Guest did not take a field sobriety test on the scene but did take a breathalyzer test three hours after the accident and blew a .06.
He also gave a blood sample and it will be sent to the crime lab to test his blood alcohol level.
Guest is free on a $75,000 bond.