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Former sheriff’s employee arrested in fatal ATV crash

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jun 24, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) – Officials say a former Franklin County Sheriff’s Department employee charged with DUI in a fatal ATV wreck has a history of driving while intoxicated.

Kentucky State Police say that the crash happened in the vicinity of Old Landing Road in Owen County.

State police say Mario Chavez, 43, was driving an ATV Friday afternoon with Patricia Karsner, 73. Following the crash, Karsner died at UK Hospital from her injuries. An Owen County deputy reported that Chavez appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He was arrested and charged with DUI and First-Degree Assault.

LEX 18 has learned that this is the third DUI arrest for Chavez since 1998. Chavez was previously employed by the sheriff’s office as a court security officer. In 1998, court records show he pleaded guilty to DUI in August. That conviction eventually rolled off his record. In 2016, Chavez was busted for DUI in Shelby County. That’s when he was fired by former Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton.

This year, Chavez was re-hired by current Franklin County Sheriff Chris Quire who told LEX 18’s Leigh Searcy that he knew of Chavez’s second DUI, which was expunged, but that he did not know about the DUI from 1998.

Quire says that Chavez is no longer employed by the department.