ROSELAND, Ind. Jeremy Bontrager, 24, was charged Monday with failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in the death of Ronald Rodgers, 56, a Class C Felony.
Osolo Twp. EMS confirmed Bontrager has been a volunteer paramedic "for a while now." Bontrager's Facebook page, prior to being taken down Monday night, listed his current position as a paramedic in Osolo Twp. and at IU LaPorte.
The hit and run happened just before midnight on Jan. 10. Roseland Police were called for a "man down" reportedly on SR 933 in front of the Wendy's on the South Bend-Roseland border.
When officers arrived they found a white man, later identified as Ronald Rodgers, deceased in the northbound lane of the roadway. Rodgers appeared to have been struck and killed by a vehicle.
A witness driving on 933 told police he saw an object in the roadway and changed lanes to avoid it. When that witness passed by he realized it was a person, attempted to stop traffic and call 911.
A second witness reportedly saw someone in the road waving his arms but was unable to swerve to avoid the scene, that witness then struck the body again.
The following day police received a tip from a co-worker of Jeremy Bontrager. Bontrager reportedly said he thought "he hit something last night" when he arrived at work.
Bontrager was taken in for questioning by the Mishawaka Police Dept. later on Saturday.
He told police he was out at Fiddler's Hearth in downtown South Bend until around 11:30 p.m. Friday night. Bontrager then said he had only two beers before leaving and heading north on SR 933.
Bontrager told officers it was raining and that he couldn't see very well on the road. He did say he heard a loud bang and thought he struck an animal so he stopped in the Wendy's parking lot to check.
However, Bontrager claims he didn't see anything or anyone in the street. He then pulled off the damaged parts of the windshield of his Dodge Charger and proceeded to go home.
An autopsy for Rodgers was scheduled for Monday morning, official autopsy results are still pending.
Bond for Bontrager was set for $10,000 corporate surety or $1,000 cash, he remains in the custody of the St. Joseph County Jail.