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Man charged in crash that killed three students

Posted at 7:53 AM, Feb 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 16:41:04-05

GRANT COUNTY, Ind. -- An Illinois man is facing OWI charges in connection with a crash on I-69 that killed three Manchester University students Sunday morning.

It happened shortly before 5:30 a.m. in the northbound lanes near mile marker 253.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says it appears that the students' van was stopped in the median with a flat tire.  

Seven people were standing outside when another van that was headed north on I-69 left the road and went into the median, striking four of the students.

"You know people say they have a hard day at work, well, they've got no idea what a hard day is," Grant County Sheriff's Lieutenant Ed Beaty said about the crash.

Deangelo R. Evans, 26, of Chicago, was charged with three counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, one count of OWI resulting in serious bodily injury, and three counts of reckless homicide.

The Grant County Prosecutor's Office issued a statement Monday afternoon on the case, first thanking citizens who called in reports of an impaired driver on the interstate. Then, the statement gets more emotional.

"Finally, the Prosecutor's Office joins all of Grant County in expressing profound sadness over this tragic loss of life and our prayers are with the Manchester University and North Manchester community, and most especially with the families and loved ones of the victims in the U.S., Ethiopia and Nigeria, who are mourning their loss."

Evans is in the Grant County Jail on $300,000 bond.

The victims, Nerad Grace Mangai, Brook M. Dagnew and Kirubel Alemayehu Hailu, were all international students from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, except for Nerad who was from Jos, Nigeria.

Israel Solomon Tamire  was taken by helicopter to Parkview Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne and is listed in critical condition.

Nebiyu Shiferaw Alemu, Amanuel Atsbha Gebreyohannes and Dagmawi Meseret Tadesse were not seriously hurt and have returned to campus.

University officials say the students had been to Ball State and Taylor University prior to the accident.

"We have an intercultural center and our students have begun to gather there. We have counselors there, staff and friends there. It's going to be a long process. We anticipate having services on campus for the students. We've notified parents and it's a matter of those students being able to be together and to support one another," said David McFadden, President, Manchester University.

A gathering was planned for Sunday night in Petersime Chapel at Manchester University for students, faculty and staff.

With great sadness, Manchester University is confirming that three students were killed early this morning in a traffic...

Posted by Manchester University on Sunday, February 21, 2016

Manchester University is a liberal arts university located in North Manchester, Indiana.

About 1,500 students attend the school.

This crash may bring back to mind an accident on I-69 in April 2006 in which four Taylor University students and one university employee were killed. 

The truck driver who caused that crash pleaded guilty to five counts of reckless homicide and four counts of criminal recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury.

Robert Spencer fell asleep and his tractor-trailer hit the Taylor University van head-on.

The case also got national attention after one of the students who was killed in the crash was misidentified by the Grant County coroner as one of the five who were injured.

STORIES ON THE CRASH MIX-UP | Fathers of victims thank students | Coroner: Misidentification began with students' ID cards | Identity mix-up hits woman's hometown hard | Crash survivor's identity questioned two weeks ago

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