Victim Identified From Friday’s Fatal Accident

Untitled Sequence.450The Dubois County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man who was killed in the late Friday single-vehicle accident northwest of Huntingburg.

The man killed was 27-year old Nicholas Ebert of Huntingburg.  He was one of five in the jeep that overturned after plunging into a ditch shortly before midnight Friday night.

Deputy Jesus Monarrez  says a Jeep Cherokee, driven by 23-year old Bryan Hakenjos of Groton, CT, was southbound on CR South 550 West when Hakenjos lost control after crossing a bridge at a high rate of speed.  Monarrez says Hakenjos lost control on the gravel road when it turns at a sharp 90-degree curve and becomes West 400 South.  The SUV left the northside of the road, when down an embankment and into a wide ditch full of water.

Monarrez says the front end of the vehicle plunged into the water before flipping over onto its top.  It came to rest in the water facing west with the passenger side completely submerged in the icy water.

Ebert was entrapped in the SUV.  He was sitting in the front passenger seat.  That part of the jeep was completely submerged in the water.  About 2/3rds of the jeep itself was submerged.    Ebert was the only one not to get out safely.

A DCSD deputy and a Huntingburg police officer jumped in the water but were not successful in getting Ebert out of the SUV.   He was later extricated from the vehicle by Huntingburg firefighters.  Ebert was transported to Memorial Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The other three passengers in the jeep were all in the backseat.   They were 23-year old Noah Fritchley of Jasper, 22-year old Kelly Esser of Jasper and 24-year old Austin Green of Newburgh.  All, including Hakenjos were treated at the scene for hypothermia.

Meanwhile, Hakenjos, who also a Jasper address, has been charged with Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated – Resulting in a Fatality (Class B Felony),  and Driving Too Fast to Avoid a Collison.  He is being held in the  Dubois County Jail without bond.  DCSD officers say Hakenjos had a blood alcohol level of .15% nearly two times the legal limit.

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