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Investigation into crash of off-duty officer grows to include additional departments
EMMETT TOWNSHIP (NEWSCHANNEL 3) -- An SUV crash involving an Emmett Township sergeant has now unfolded into a three department investigation.
The county prosecutor filed a charge against 43-year-old Deb Novar, for fleeing the scene of last month's one vehicle crash in Battle Creek. This conclusion was made after an investigation by the Battle Creek Police Department, to see if alcohol caused the crash.
Newschannel 3 has also learned the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office is conducting their own internal investigation, because two of the three off-duty officers helping Novar that night, are Calhoun County Sheriff's deputies.
Newschannel 3 just received the more than 20 page criminal investigation by the BCPD that shows what happened that night.
We also spoke one-on-one with the Emmett Township Police chief who says his internal investigation is already over. Chief Mike Olson says that's because Deb Novar resigned Monday, and the off-duty Emmett Township officer who helped her, has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
"They made the assumption cops were coming because dispatch was called. If theres further learned through the city investigation well go accordingly," said Chief Michael Olson.
The criminal investigation includes the initial crash report, Deb Novar made over the phone with the Battle Creek Police, twelve hours after she crashed her Rav4 on August 20.
The report says she swerved from an object at the intersection of Hamilton and Capital Avenue SW and slammed into a pole at about 12:30 a.m.
In an interview with the BCPD, Novar admitted to investigators she got behind the wheel after drinking at a house party in the city, but didn't know how much she drank. A Calhoun County deputy who was interviewed says Novar came to his house in her already wrecked car, and was upset when she discovered he had another woman there. The report shows he got a better look at the damage as she went to drive off. He says he saw her airbags were deployed and tried to get her to stay.
The deputy told Battle Creek investigators when she took off, he called another off-duty deputy and an off-duty Emmett Township officer who were at the house party earlier with them to find her.
The investigation shows the officers found Novar on Woodrow near the Lakeview bus garage, and they pushed her vehicle into a parking lot so it was out of the road and left with her mom.
The Calhoun County prosecutor tells Newschannel 3 that with no breath test, and no witnesses to the crash, there was no way he could issue a drunk driving charge. He reviewed Novar's call to dispatch and the prosecutor says she did not sound intoxicated.
The BCPD investigation shows she doesn't remember calling dispatch but she had been told she called dispatch asking for Tiger's Towing. The report also shows investigators have no evidence from the crash scene, since the criminal investigation was requested by Emmett Township nearly two weeks after it happened.