Epworth man arrested following accident that sent passenger to ICU

An Epworth man has been arrested for OWI first offense almost two months after an accident sent a man to the intensive care unit with a “serious head injury.”

According to court documents, law enforcement and the Epworth Ambulance responded to Gun Club Road near the ball fields at approximately 10:45 p.m. Aug. 3, for a subject that was unresponsive after falling off a golf cart.

While responding to the scene, officers saw a golf cart with no headlamps coming from the direction of the accident, documents state.

Upon arrival at the scene, authorities say there was not a golf cart in the area, but the injured man, identified as Bradley Wolfe, 41, and passengers were still at the scene.

Wolfe was transported to Mercy Hospital in Dubuque and later to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic. Authorities stated Wolfe was put in intensive care following the accident.

During interviews with the other passengers, law enforcement learned that Douglas Matthew Ernzen, 40, of Epworth, left before the arrival of first responders, allegedly stating “I can’t get an OWI.” Passengers also stated the Wolfe had been jumping up and down on the back of the cart before he fell off and struck his head.

Documents state initial attempts to locate Ernzen were unsuccessful, but he was found at a family member’s residence in Epworth at 1:10 a.m.

Ernzen admitted to being the driver of the golf cart, telling authorities that he just “freaked out” and left the scene.

At 1:30 a.m., authorities administered sobriety tests on Ernzen, which showed impairment. A search warrant for a body specimen was obtained at 2:42 a.m. which yielded a result of .050% blood-alcohol content. Documents state a retrograde extrapolation report was obtained from the State Crime Lab that conveyed at an average elimination rate, Ernzen’s BAC would have been .126% at the time of the accident.

A warrant for Ernzen’s arrest was served Sept. 23 and Ernzen posted a cash bond the same day.