2 Arrested After Fatal Hit-and-Run
By Joe Gerrety
A Delphi teenager is dead and two Tippecanoe County men face felony charges after a car crashed head-on into a motorcycle on Indiana 25 near Americus on Thursday night.
Jeremy L. Kuns, 19, died at the scene of the 9:17 p.m. crash in the 5700 block of Indiana 25 North.
Grant L. O'Leary, 24, of Americus, thought to be the driver of the car that caused the wreck, was released from the Tippecanoe County Jail on Friday morning after posting a $25,000 surety bond.
According to court documents filed late Friday, O'Leary had a blood-alcohol content of 0.144 percent after the crash and was driving on a suspended license after an August conviction for drunken driving. The legal limit for driving in Indiana is 0.08 percent.
Police suspect O'Leary was driven away from the scene by a friend, Kirk E. Car-ter, 25, of Buck Creek. Carter was released Friday morning after posting a $500 cash bond.
Later Friday, prosecutors filed felony charges against both men.
Deputy Greg Frantz, a crash reconstructionist with the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department, said O'Leary was driving north in a 2002 Ford Mustang convertible when he attempted to pass a northbound vehicle in the southbound lane.
He crashed head-on into the motorcycle Kuns was driving south.
The Mustang then went off the west side of the road and crashed into three vehicles parked in front of a residence. A fire broke out in the car's engine compartment but was put out by the resident of a nearby home, Frantz said.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed with O'Leary's charges, O'Leary and Carter spent most of Thursday evening together after work, spending part of the time at Pepe's restaurant, eating dinner and drinking margaritas.
The two were headed north on Indiana 25 in separate vehicles a few minutes apart when the crash occurred. Carter came upon the scene minutes after the crash, spotted O'Leary's Mustang and then encountered O'Leary, who asked for his help.
Police suspect Carter drove O'Leary from the scene and took him back to O'Leary's workplace, Foxfire Apartments on Lafayette's south side, where O'Leary called Lafayette police and reported his car had been stolen.
The officer taking the report quickly learned that O'Leary was the registered owner of the car involved in the crash. Frantz said witnesses identified O'Leary, through a photo array, as the driver of the Mustang.
O'Leary and Carter were arrested after questioning by Tippecanoe County police.