A 26-year-old Chicago man is facing multiple charges for allegedly striking and killing three Indiana college students and critically injuring another one. The accident occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 21 along Interstate 69 in Grant County. The man has been charged with OWI causing death, OWI causing serious bodily injury and reckless homicide.
According to law enforcement, seven Manchester University students had been traveling in a van when the front tire on the driver's side went flat. They pulled the van partially off the road. Reportedly, all seven occupants got out of the vehicle. Four were near the driver's side, while the others were standing towards the back of the van.
The Grant County Sheriff's Department says that the defendant's van went off the road as he drove northbound on the interstate, hitting the four people who were on the driver's side. All of the students were from Nigeria and Ethiopia. They were undergraduates at the school, which includes among its alumni the man who discovered Teflon. It is known for having the only master's degree program in pharmacogenomics in the country.
The driver suffered only minor injuries. He is being held on $300,000 bond.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence tweeted the Sunday morning after the accident about the loss of the three students, asking "Hoosiers to keep their families/friends/community in your prayers."
It's essential that if your vehicle breaks down, you get it completely off the road if possible and stay off the road yourself. This is particularly crucial in the dark or if weather conditions compromise visibility.
That being said, drivers should always be aware of what their surroundings and expect the unexpected. Certainly driving off the road, particularly while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, makes a person subject to criminal and civil legal penalties.
Source: Fox 59, "Man faces OWI charges in I-69 crash that killed three Manchester University students," Sabrina Adams and Kylee Wierks, Feb. 21, 2016