Driver charged with OWI, reckless homicide in double fatality near West Lafayette
Man charged with OWI, reckless homicide in double fatality near West Lafayette
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A 44-year-old man has been arrested and preliminarily charged with drunken driving and reckless homicide in connection to a double fatality crash in September on U.S. 52 in Tippecanoe County, the Indiana State Police said Tuesday night.
The two people who died in the Sept. 18 crash were Kimberly Burge, 56, and Jaden Harvey, 17. Harvey was a student at Benton Central Senior High School, which is north of the Benton County town of Oxford.
Investigators believe a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV just before 9:30 p.m. Sept. 18 was going north on County Road 400 West and struck a 2005 Pontiac G2 going west on U.S. 52. The driver, Burge, and Harvey died at the crash scene. Both vehicles came to rest on the northwest side of the intersection, which is just northwest of West Lafayette.
The driver of the Jeep and another passenger in the Pontiac, Benton Central student Rylan Burge, were taken to an area hospital. Their conditions were never publicly shared.
State police say the Tippecanoe County prosecutor charged Brent Wills, the Jeep driver, with two counts of causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated; two counts of causing death when operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.08 or more; two counts of reckless homicide; a count of causing serious bodily injury when operating a vehicle while intoxicated; and a count of causing serious bodily injury when operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.08 or more.
The West Lafayette man was being held Tuesday night in the Tippecanoe County jail on a $250,000 cash and surety bond, according to online records.
No online court records on the case had been posted as of Tuesday night.