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Former Parke County sheriff, wife killed in crash involving drunken driver

Michael Eslinger

ROCKVILLE, Ind. — Authorities say a former sheriff and his wife have died following a head-on collision with a drunken driver in western Indiana.

The Tribune-Star reports 74-year-old Michael Eslinger and 73-year-old Darla Eslinger died in the crash Thursday night along U.S. highway 41 near Rockville. They were passengers in an SUV driven by their 17-year-old granddaughter, who was injured.

The newspaper says Mike Eslinger served two terms as Parke County sheriff in the 1970s. He was later re-elected as sheriff and served another two terms, retiring in 2014. Darla Eslinger had retired as the county’s emergency management director.

Authorities say a truck driven by Bryan Robertson, 41, of Rockville, crossed the center line. He was found to be intoxicated and was charged with two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury and two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death.

According to court documents, Robertson’s blood alcohol content (BAC) registered at .117 percent, well above the legal limit of .08 percent.

Robertson was hospitalized after the crash, along with a 28-year-old woman who was a passenger in his truck.