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Driver tests positive for alcohol

Sam Davis | Friday, September 17, 2004

The Saint Mary’s sophomore whose car struck a Notre Dame alumnus early Sunday morning has been ticketed for an alcohol-related offense.

According to the South Bend Tribune, St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecutor Ken Cotter said Jackie Miltenberger, 19, was ticketed on a misdemeanor count of consuming alcohol as a minor and for the violation of being under 21 with a blood-alcohol level of 0.02 percent or higher. Cotter declined to release her exact blood-alcohol level, stating only that it was under 0.08 – the legal level in Indiana at which a driver over 21 years of age is considered to be intoxicated.

Cotter did not return phone calls Thursday from The Observer.

Ryan O’Connor, 24, a 2002 Notre Dame graduate and Naval officer, was running across South Bend Avenue near Vaness Street when he was struck by a car driven by Miltenberger after leaving a nearby bar with friends, police said. St. Joseph County Deputy Coroner Rex Rakow said O’Connor died of severe head trauma at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and that his death was ruled an accident.

The South Bend Police declined to disclose how fast Miltenberger’s car was traveling at the time of the accident and to release the accident report, citing that the investigation was ongoing.

Police said Miltenberger, the driver of the vehicle, was breathalyzed at the scene of the accident and taken to the St. Joseph County Jail for an additional blood-alcohol level test as per state law.

Both the South Bend Police and St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office declined to release the blood-alcohol levels of both the driver and the victim and to elaborate specifically on who was drinking, stating only that the investigation is ongoing and that alcohol appeared to be a factor.

Police said the accident remains under investigation pending reconstruction of the accident. At that time the prosecutor’s office may decide to file additional charges against Miltenberger.

Rakow said that the coroner’s office ruling of O’Connor’s death as an accident is independent of both the police investigation and the prosecutor’s decision of whether to bring further charges against Miltenberger.

O’Connor’s funeral was Thursday in his hometown of West Chester, Penn.