Kentucky man faces charges in fatal accident

DANVILLE — A 23-year-old Kentucky man is facing criminal charges in connection with a fatal car crash near Westville in October.

Jake Erickson, of Richmond, Ky., was charged in Vermilion County Circuit Court on Monday with aggravated driving under the influence involving a fatality. The offense is a Class 2 felony, which carries special penalty provisions.

Erickson, who appeared in court via video conference, entered a plea of not guilty.

Vermilion County Associate Judge Derek Girton set his preliminary hearing for 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 23.

Girton also upheld Erickson's bond of $100,000, meaning Erickson would have to pay $10,000 in order to be released from jail.

The charge stems from an Oct. 12 single-car rollover accident on 1100 North Road near 1460 East, southwest of Westville, that killed 19-year-old Nicole "Nykky" Harris.

Toxicology tests showed that Erickson's blood alcohol content was .14 percent when he was driving a 1996 Jeep Cherokee, failed to make a curve and rolled the vehicle, according to Capt. Rod Kaag of the Vermilion County Sheriff's Department. The legal limit is .08 percent.

Erickson, a former county resident, was taken into custody on an arrest warrant on Dec. 17 in Richmond, Kaag said. He waived extradition and was brought back to Danville on Saturday.

According to a police report, Erickson was driving west on 1100 North Road, also known as Westville Lane, early in the morning of Oct. 12. Ms. Harris was a passenger and had just been picked up before the accident occurred.

The report said the Jeep went off the road and rolled over after Erickson failed to make a curve, and the occupants were ejected.

Erickson and two other passengers — Aissa Wright, 21, of Georgetown, and Michael Francis, 26, of Westville — were also injured.

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