Indiana college athlete charged in fatal February hit-and-run

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AVON, Ind. (April 1, 2014)– A man who turned himself in to police in February after a fatal hit-and-run has been charged with two felonies.

Avon Police have charged Charles A. Parrett, 19, of Avon for fleeing the scene of an accident resulting in death and as well as operating a vehicle and causing death with schedule I or schedule II controlled substance. Both charges are class “C” Felonies.

Parrett is charged in connection with the February 5 hit-and-run crash that resulted in the death of 36-year-old Robert L. Blankenship. Blakenship was walking eastbound on U.S. Hwy 36 when he was struck from behind by Parrett who was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer.

Immediately after the crash, Parrett fled to a restaurant in Plainfield before returning to the scene of the crash. He later notified his mother of the situation who returned him to the scene.

Parrett later returned to the scene and identified himself as the driver. He submitted to a blood draw and toxicology results indicated the presence of marijuana in his blood.

Avon Police Detective Brian Nugent said detectives had enough evidence to arrest Parrett on the fleeing charge when they had him in custody on the night of the accident, but he said they wanted to wait until the blood test results came back before filing charges.

“Sometimes a situation like this does require us to be patient.” Nugent said. “It does require us to work forward with resolve.”

Blankenship’s mother, Virgina Coppage told Fox59 it was difficult to wait nearly eight weeks for the arrest.

“It was hard, but I’m glad they waited to get all the evidence in,” she said.

Nugent said detectives did not worry about Parrett leaving town while the lab results were pending. He said Parrett, who is a freshman at Wabash College, was in class on Monday. Parrett is also a wide receiver on the Wabash College football team.

“If we felt that he or his family were a flight risk of any sort, we probably would have made a custodial arrest at that point,” Nugent said. “We didn’t believe that was an issue.”

Mr. Parrett was arrested on a $25,000.00 bond and transported to the Hendricks County Jail. He had bonded out of jail by Tuesday afternoon.

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