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The initial court appearance for a Jasper man who is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol when his midsize pickup truck ran off Interstate 69 in Green County last month killing three members of a Warrick County family has been delayed.

19-year old Mason Hartke of Jasper was scheduled to appear in Greene County Superior Court this Thursday Decembert 8th. However the hearing was delayed till the following Tuesday December 13th.

The crash took place in the early morning of November 13th killing 46-year old David Rinehart, his 17-year old daughter Sophie and 74-year old Ruth Ann Rinehart, David’s mother. A fourth family member, 18-year-old Josie Rinehart, was injured in the crash but survived.

Hartke was arrested six days after the crash and charged with three counts of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death, as well as three counts of reckless homicide.

The Rineharts were in a car that had pulled over to the side of the road after striking a deer just before 3:30 on the morning of November 13th near the 103 Mile Marker.

State police say Hartke had been drinking on the campus of Indiana University hours before the crash. His blood alcohol content level reportedly tested at 0.16 percent more than two hours after the crash.

Hartke allegedly told state police that he had fallen asleep before his truck struck the Rinehart’s vehicle.

State Police say their crash investigators found no evidence that Hartke applied the brakes before the collision.

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