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Arrest warrant issued in fatal LaPorte County crash

August 15, 2012|By STAN MADDUX | WSBT-TV Correspondent
  • An arrest warrant was issued this week for 35-year-old John Mikle for his part in a fatal traffic crash in LaPorte County.
An arrest warrant was issued this week for 35-year-old John Mikle for his part in a fatal traffic crash in LaPorte County.

LaPORTE — John Mikle was still at-large Wednesday, a day after LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos approved an arrest warrant for the 35-year-old. Mikle is charged with reckless homicide and driving while intoxicated, causing death as well as two counts of driving while intoxicated causing serious injury and a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated.

After causing a head-on crash July 19 that killed a Valparaiso woman and seriously hurt two young sisters, Mikle was found to have extremely high PCP levels in his blood.

Killed in the early-morning crash on Joliet Road near Westville was 26-year-old Katherine Atkins. Injured were Neilah Maule, 7, and her 5-year-old sister, Jaidyn Maule. As of Wednesday, Neilah was still hospitalized, but showing improvement from a severe head injury, according to court testimony. Jaidyn is home, recovering from a severely fractured leg.

Mikle was also hurt in the crash, but checked himself out of the hospital against the advice of doctors, said La Porte County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Fronk.

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Police said Atkins was driving her boyfriend’s children to their grandparent’s home in LaPorte when the crash occurred.          

A witness told police Mikle had accelerated from a stop sign just prior to the crash. La Porte County Police Detective Scott Boswell told the court the tires Mikle was driving on had very little tread and it was raining at the time of the crash.  Boswell also revealed a blood test showed Mikle had a very high level fo PCP and a ''relatively high'' amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system.

Fronk said it took nearly a month to file charges because of the wait involved in getting blood test results and knowing whether Neilah was going to survive.

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