Custom Chrome/Kiesow Racing tuner Garry Baeheler is on his way home after an incredible week that began with the highway accident that resulted in the death of his 15-year-old son.
After Cycle News reported the accident, we learned that an Indiana area newspaper web site, MyInKy.com, had issued the following story regarding the crash:
The driver in a fiery crash that killed his teenage son Friday afternoon has been arrested after traces of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana were found in his system, Indiana State Police said.
Duane Baehler, 47, of Tulsa, Okla., is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond at the Vanderburgh County Jail. He faces preliminary felony charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, causing death; operating a vehicle while intoxicated, causing injury; and a misdemeanor of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Two passing truck drivers stopped at the accident scene on Interstate 64 and were able to pull Cole Baehler, 15, and Tim Kelly, 15, both of Tulsa, out of the burning vehicle, from which Duane Baehler had already exited. Cole Baehler was taken to Deaconess Hospital where he died of his injuries. Kelly was treated for minor injuries.
A state trooper arrested Duane Baehler at Deaconess Hospital at 3:15 a.m. after the driver had been treated for nonlife-threatening injuries.
"It's unknown at this time (why they were passing through the area). The vehicle they were in had some motorcycles in the back," said Trooper Russ Werkmeister.
He declined to comment on whether any drugs were found at the scene. Police are still investigating the accident.
"The vehicle was completely destroyed," Werkmeister said.
Baehler was driving the truck loaded with motorcycles eastbound on I-64 when, for unknown reasons, it left the road on the south side and collided with the rear of a tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder near the 22-mile marker just inside the Vanderburgh County line. Baehler's vehicle burst into flames almost immediately, Werkmeister said.
The Scott Township Fire Department, which went to the crash, said the vehicle was a total loss.
Upon learning of the story yesterday, we immediately contacted team owner Craig Rogers, who stated that while Baehler was being held by the authorities, the story was wildly inaccurate, and that he expected Baehler to be released. As of today, Rogers confirmed that Baehler has been released, on bond, and that almost all of the charges against him have already been dropped.
"There is still one charge that they still have not dropped," Rogers said. "Garry does have to return for an appearance on July 16, but we expect him to be fully exonerated by then. We are still behind him 100 percent. He's like a brother to me. We are already focusing on getting back to work."
Rogers did confirm, as was originally reported, that the truck and all of its contents were totally wiped out.
"We couldn't save anything," Rogers said, "not even a gear."