During the pre-dawn hours on February 13, a woman who is believed to have entered the US illegally is accused of driving drunk and killing a Noblesville man. Travelling at a high rate of speed, Elizabeth Vargas-Hernandez struck a vehicle being driven by 66-year-old David Kriehn with such force that it flipped over several times, killing Kriehn. The accident happened on the northwest side of Indianapolis on Interstate 465.
Kriehn was a manager at Famous Dave’s barbecue restaurant and a former Christian missionary. Fellow workers said he was a gentle and caring man. He was also a father and grandfather.
The collision happened at approximately 2:30 a.m. on February 13. Kriehn’s car was sent speeding off the highway and into a ditch. It then rolled several times. Kriehn died while trying to reach his home in Noblesville.
Indiana state police believe that Elizabeth Vargas-Hernandez was driving an SUV with three passengers at a high rate of speed when she slammed into Kriehn's car. Police report that she failed a field sobriety test. They believe that the 35-year-old Vargas-Hernandez and her companions had just left a local bar. While she is charged with operating while intoxicated and causing death, police believe there is evidence to show that she entered the US illegally and has never held a driver’s licence. However, Marion County Sheriff's Office does not routinely notify federal authorities when suspected undocumented immigrants are arrested and jailed for serious, unrelated crimes.
In an email to WTHR News, a spokesperson for the sheriff wrote that arrests are of public record and that the federal Immigration and Customs service has access to it. The sheriff’s office, said the missive, does not address immigration status or issues."
A Go Fund Me page has been established to help Kriehn's family with expenses.