By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — More details have been released on a Saturday morning fatal vehicle accident on US 30 in Warsaw, including information on a criminal charge filed against one of the drivers involved.
Cayden William Collins, 20, Andrews, is charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death, a level 4 felony.
Around 5 a.m. Saturday, March 18, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a two-vehicle accident on East US 30, east of East CR 450S, Warsaw.
Austin L. Martin, 24, Huntington, told deputies he was driving a maroon 2009 Honda Pilot eastbound in the left travel lane of US 30 when he passed a gray 2000 Oldsmobile Alero in the right lane. As Martin passed the Alero, a sideswipe collision occurred, as the Alero’s driver allegedly failed to stay in their lane of travel. The driver of the Alero was later identified as Collins, who left the scene.
According to a KCSO accident report, this collision caused Martin’s vehicle to leave the roadway and overturn multiple times before coming to a rest on its passenger’s side, near a utility pole. Martin had three passengers in his vehicle at the time of the accident.
Zoie B. Lavine, 21; and Cassandra M. Moehring, 24, both of Huntington, had to be extricated from the Pilot. Lavine complained of hip pain and Moehring complained of leg pain. A third passenger, Connor M. Small, 24, Huntington, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Martin complained of neck pain. Lavine and Moehring were both taken to a local hospital.
During the investigation of the accident, Huntington County Sheriff’s Department officers found the Alero in Huntington County. When they pulled the Alero over, it was being driven by Jayla L. Kelsey, 19, Huntington. At the traffic stop, Kelsey and the vehicle’s passengers, identified as Collins and Gage Overholser, 21, Andrews, would not speak to officers about the accident. An investigation for operating while intoxicated was conducted on Kelsey.
Damage to the Alero was consistent with being involved in the Kosciusko County accident.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, in an interview with a KCSO lieutenant, Overholser said he, Kelsey, and Collins were coming from a gas station in North Manchester when they were pulled over. As the interview progressed, Overholser’s story changed. He said Moehring was his girlfriend and that he told Collins to pass Martin’s vehicle. He said they switched drivers while in North Manchester and that Collins was wrong for not stopping after the accident, but that he was freaking out.
Officers learned Martin had picked up Moehring after she stopped spending time with Collins’ group following an argument with Overholser.
Collins and Overholser both said Martin’s vehicle clipped the front of Collins’ vehicle, resulting in the roll-over crash. Collins admitted to being aware of the accident and not stopping to render aid or call 911.
Damages from the accident are estimated up to $25,000.
Collins was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on March 18.