The man accused of causing a deadly accident on I-69, which took the lives of three people from Newburgh, has apparently decided to plead guilty. The Greene County Prosecutor says Mason Hartke’s attorney filed papers for a change of plea hearing. Hartke is charged with three counts of reckless homicide and three counts of drunk driving causing death.
The Rinehart family from Newburgh hit a deer and pulled off on the side of I-69 in Greene County in November. The family was returning from a band competition in Indianapolis. Police say that’s when Hartke drove down the road and ran into the back of the Rinehart’s vehicle. The accident killed 46-year-old David Rinehart, 74-year-old Ruth Rinehart, and 17-year-old Sophie Rinehart. Sophie was a member of the Castle High School band.
Police also say Hartke’s blood alcohol level was two times over the .08 limit at the time of the accident. Hartke is from Jasper and according to court documents, he was on his way home after partying at Indiana University when the accident happened.
A date for the change of plea hearing has not been set. Hartke faces a potential 18 year prison sentence.