A northern Indiana man who police say was drunk when a passenger in the minivan was killed in a freak accident has been charged with three felony counts and two misdemeanor counts.
Twenty-three-year-old Kyle Papa of Mishawaka is charged with driving while intoxicated resulting in the death of another person, leaving the scene of an accident after driving while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, driving without a license and two marijuana charges.
The woman, identified as 24-year-old Amanda Ezra, was sitting on someone's lap in the front passenger seat about 4:40 a.m. Sunday when her head struck an object in Osceola, about 10 miles east of South Bend, an official said.
A probable cause affidavit said Ezra, a mother of three, was killed when she leaned out the window because she was sick and her head hit a telephone pole and the wire holding it up.
Papa initially left the scene, police said, but was later taken in for questioning.
According to NBC sister station WNDU, the St. Joseph County Coroner said Ezra died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head.
"She was an amazing mom," Ezra's friend Taylor Esmont told the station. "She would always take care of her kids. And, that was one of the first things she talked about when I met her. She would always talk about her babies and how they were just the light of her life."
It was not immediately known if Papa had hired an attorney. He was being held Monday in the St. Joseph County Jail on $5,000 cash bond.