Hartke Initial Hearing Postponed (w/VIDEO)

MASON HARTKE Photo: Indiana State Police

MASON HARTKE
Photo: Indiana State Police

Bloomfield (NNDC) – The formal intitial hearing (arraignment) for a Dubois County man has been postponed to next week.

A spokesman for Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtslaw says scheduling conflicts in Greene Superior Court prompted the hearing to be rescheduled this coming Tuesday (December 13th) at 11:30AM.

19-year old Mason Hartke of Jasper, is accused of  causing three deaths when his pickup truck crashed into a disabled car along Interstate 69 south of Bloomington in the early hours of November 13th.

46-year old David Rinehart, 74-year old Ruth Ann Rinehart and 17-year old Sophie Rinehart, all of Newburgh, died in the crash.  Ruth Ann was David’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother.  18-year Josie Rinehart, Sophie’s sister was also in the car; she survived.

Sophie was a soloist with the Castle High School band. The family was returning home after Sophie and the band performed the night before at the Bands of America National Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Her father was pastor at a Newburgh church.

An affidavit acquired by NewsNow Dubois County revealed that Hartke had been drinking heavily on the Indiana University campus prior to the crash.

Hartke was initially charged by Indiana State Police with three counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death and three counts of reckless homicide.

Hartke, who suffered a broken arm in the crash, turned himself to police the morning of Saturday, November 19th.   He was released that afternoon after posting bond according to the prosecutor’s office.

State Police  says Hartke’s blood-alcohol level was almost 0.16 percent more than two hours after the crash.

ISP investigators say Hartke told them he had fallen asleep at the wheel.   Police says it does not appear Hartke tried to brake before the impact.  ISP estimate Hartke’s truck was traveling 76 MPH when it hit the Rinehart car.

ISP says they were notified of the Rinehart car striking a deer at 3:22AM.  By the time the first trooper arrived on the scene, which was 3:59AM, the collision involving Hartke’s truck had already occurred.

The crash happened near mile marker 103 on I-69.

NewsNow Dubois County has learned that on June 18th, Hartke, a 2016 graduate of Southridge High School, was cited for possession of alcohol by a minor by an Indiana excise officer while at a concert at the Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville.

He was not arrested, but was required to enter an alcohol diversion program for the incident according to court records.

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