Driver arrested, passenger killed after off-road vehicle crash in Kosciusko County

(Photo supplied/Indiana Department of Natural Resources)

A driver was arrested and a passenger was killed after an off-road vehicle crash in Kosciusko County.

The collision happened around 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, on EMS R4 Lane, east of Ridinger Lake.

Kosciusko County Central Dispatch received a 911 call reporting that the passenger on the off-road vehicle was unresponsive and CPR was being administered by a passerby. It was also reported that the driver took off from the scene.

Preliminary investigations indicate that a white 2014 Polaris Ranger was being operated by Joel Zehner, 39, on EMS R4 Lane when the crash occurred. An adult male believed to be the passenger fell out from the vehicle as it made a turn. The vehicle rolled to its side pinning the male passenger. A passerby assisted in rolling the vehicle over and began CPR on the unresponsive male.

A Whitley County K9 unit tracked Zehner to a campsite where he allegedly displayed a firearm, according to conservation officer.

The passenger, identified as Jason Tolle, 45, of Pierceton, died as a result of injuries from blunt force trauma.

The officers at the scene were able to talk Zehner into putting the firearm down and he was taken into custody.

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