ROLLING PRAIRIE | A 26-year-old man was killed Saturday in an accident near Rolling Prairie.
Eron Michael Mireles, of Rolling Prairie, died from blunt force trauma, LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan said.
He was the passenger in a pickup truck driven by Nicholas Cook, 25, of New Carlisle.
Police said Cook's 1985 Chevy S-10 pickup slid on the snow- and ice-covered surface into the oncoming lane on 500 East about 7:30 a.m. Saturday near Rolling Prairie.
The truck kept veering left until it collided head-on with a tree.
Cook was hospitalized with a possible fractured hip, police said.
According to police, Cook and Mireles were not wearing seat belts.
Because of extensive damage to the truck, police said Cook may have been traveling too fast for the weather conditions.
Another possible contributing factor was a right front tire that had poor tread, police said.
A blood test on the driver, Cook, indicated the presence of marijuana and Xanax, according to LaPorte County police.
Capt. George Ritter said Monday the results of the investigation have been presented to the LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.
Sullivan said marijuana can stay in the bloodstream for as long as 60 to 90 days, so it's possible Cook was not under the influence at the time of the crash.
He also said it is possible the Xanax might have been from a prescription.
"We have to be careful not to jump to any conclusions," Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he found no evidence of marijuana inside the wreckage.
Cook had not consumed any alcohol, police said.