GRANT COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A Chicago man who caused the deaths of three international students from Manchester University in a February 2016 crash was sentenced to 38.5 years in prison Monday, the Grant County Superior Court said.
Deangelo Evans, 27, pleaded guilty in September of last year in Grant Superior Court to all eight felony charges against him, including three counts each of reckless homicide and operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, along with one count of OWI resulting in bodily injury and one count of criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, which in this case would be Evans’ vehicle.
The crash happened along I-69 near Fairmount, about 45 miles northeast of Indianapolis on February 21, 2016 and killed Manchester students, Nerad Mangai of Jos, Nigeria, and Brook “BK” Dagnew and Kirubel Hailu of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The students were traveling with four other international students in a passenger van that had broken down.
Authorities in Grant County responded around 5:20 a.m. to the crash on northbound I-69 at the 253-mile marker, near the Delaware County line. Manchester University President David McFadden told NewsChannel 15 at the time that the students were coming back from visiting friends at Ball State University and Taylor University.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Department said the passenger van the students were traveling in was broken down, parked near the median on I-69 with what appeared to be a flat tire. Police said another passenger van, driven by Evans, left the road and went into the median, hitting Mangai, Dagnew, Hailu and another student, Israel Tamire, who were standing outside the van by the rear.
Tamire survived the crash after initially being transported to a Fort Wayne hospital in critical condition. The other three students, who were also standing outside along the driver’s side of the van, were not harmed.
Evans was taken to a hospital in Marion and treated for minor injuries before being released into police custody. His OWI charges indicated he may have had a blood alcohol level of at least twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.
President McFadden said in a statement Monday that Evans’ sentencing represents the legal closure to a painful chapter, and that emotional recovery continues.
McFadden added that the Manchester family will honor the three students killed by “choosing to be their best selves, by leading principled, productive and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.”
In honor of the students killed, a “Peace Pole” was placed in September of last year on the lawn of the intercultural center at Manchester’s campus with the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in eight languages, accompanied by the inscriptions – #3FlyHigh and #MUStrong.