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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky man is accused of beating his wife so severely, police originally thought the woman was dead, authorities said.

According to a Dec. 7 arrest citation from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Nevin Partain, 36, of Louisville, was driving intoxicated when he beat his wife of 15 years, the Courier-Journal reported. Police responded to a report of a man driving “erratically” eastbound on Interstate 64, speeding and crossing lanes, the newspaper reported.

According to police, Partain was driving a gray Chevrolet Tahoe under the speed limit but “smelled heavily of alcoholic beverages,” “his eyes were bloodshot and watery” and he “had blood covering his hands … and some minor scratches on his face,” WDRB reported.

In the arrest citation, authorities thought the woman in the car looked lifeless, and “at first, I thought she was actually deceased,” the Courier-Journal reported. According to the citation, the woman’s hair was stuck to the driver’s side door, the center console and to her husband.

Police also said the woman had a split lip, swollen eyes and a cut on her nose, WDRB reported.

“Blood was also covering the center console, steering wheel and blood had pooled on the victim’s lap,” according to the arrest citation.

According to police, Partain said his wife grabbed the steering wheel while he was driving, and that they had been in a “physical altercation,” the Courier-Journal reported. According to court documents, Partain told police he was “just trying to get home” and did not realize his wife was hurt badly, the newspaper reported.

Partain was arrested and charged with first-degree assault, first-degree wanton endangerment, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and careless driving, WDRB reported.