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International Students Killed in Suspected Drunk Driving Accident

Steve Wagner

Tragedy struck this weekend when three Manchester University students were killed and another seriously injured. The accident took place early Sunday morning after a van carrying the four students and three others got a flat tire on I-69 north of the Delaware County line, and the students moved the vehicle toward the median area in order to change the tire. While repairs were being made, another van, driven by Deangelo R. Evans of Chicago, veered into the students, striking four and killing three. Evans, 26 years old, has been charged with three counts each of reckless homicide and operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, and one count of OWI resulting in serious bodily injury.

The deaths of international students Nerad Grace Mangai from Jos, Nigeria, and Brook Dagnew and Kirubel Alemayehu Hailu from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has stunned the small community of under 2,000 people at Manchester University. The injured student, Israel Solomon Tamire, is also from Addis Ababa and is currently listed in critical condition in a Fort Wayne hospital. The group of students was on a visit to two Indiana universities, Ball State in Muncie and Taylor University in Upland, when the flat tire occurred. We will continue to monitor this case for updates.

Nationwide, drunk driving accidents account for around one-third of all traffic fatalities annually. Though this number has decreased over the past thirty years, drunk driving has remained a difficult problem to resolve. Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have led the push toward legislation aimed at decreasing injuries and deaths caused by drunk driving. While some states choose to use so-called “whiskey plates” that have both functional and somewhat shaming effects, the most effective and popular tactic is the use of ignition interlock devices (IID). Twenty-one states require IIDs for all drunk driving offenders, and some of those states have seen drunk driving deaths fall by 30%.

That said, there has been an increase in pedestrian deaths caused by drunk driving. In 2014, the number of pedestrian deaths rose by 3.1%. Some posit that increases in pedestrian deaths may partly be explained by recent increases in the number of people walking, given increases in gas and the movement toward walking for general fitness reasons, but this is not a relationship that’s been explored in depth. It remains critically important for pedestrians and those tending to disable vehicles to remain vigilantly cautious. Unfortunately, no matter how careful a pedestrian is, someone who is driving impaired may still cause unnecessary death or injury due to their own recklessness and negligence.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, the vehicular accident attorneys at Wagner Reese have the experience needed for cases like this. Please call our offices today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a FREE consultation.

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