St. John man charged in fatal crash

2013-03-19T18:00:00Z 2013-03-19T20:31:08Z St. John man charged in fatal crashTimes Staff nwitimes.com
March 19, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

HANOVER TOWNSHIP | A driver who tried to flee the scene of a fatal crash was formally charged Tuesday and accused of driving while intoxicated, officials said.

David Hatfield, 39, of St. John, is charged with operating while intoxicated resulting in a death, two counts of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in a death and two counts of operating while intoxicated.

Hatfield was driving a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro traveling west on 109th Avenue at 5:20 a.m. Sunday when it crashed into the back of a 1998 GMC van that became engulfed in flames, the Lake County Sheriff's Department said.

The driver of the van, Paul Gebauer, 59, of Crown Point, died at the scene, deputies said. He died from severe burn injuries, according to a release from the coroner's office.

The Sheriff's Department said Hatfield tried to leave the scene after the crash, but was later arrested by St. John police.

Deputies said Hatfield was driving at a high rate of speed, but the department's spokeswoman did not have information about how fast he was driving. Information about Hatfield's blood alcohol content was not available Tuesday afternoon.

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