Man who claimed to be passenger in fatal crash was driver, prosecutors say

A man who claimed to be a passenger in a fatal 2016 crash was driving the vehicle that killed his friend, prosecutors said Wednesday.

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Jack Henry Kaplan, 22, told police officers responding to an October 2016 crash that he was too intoxicated to drive, so his friend James Dupler took the wheel instead, Boone County Sheriff's officials said.

However, after nearly two years of investigating, prosecutors believe Kaplan, who was found outside the vehicle near the driver’s door, lied about being the passenger.

Kaplan, of Zionsville, called his father before dialing 911, leaving him at the scene for nearly an hour before emergency responders arrived.

"These evidentiary facts were found through time and diligent work then presented to the Boone County Prosecutor's Office," Sheriff Mike Nielsen said in a statement. "They reviewed the facts and the overwhelming evidence in the probable cause affidavit, and believed there is enough to charge Mr. Kaplan with this crime."

Kaplan was arrested and charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident, reckless homicide, failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death, causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more, obstruction of justice, operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more and public intoxication.

"Our family would like to sincerely thank the tireless efforts of the Boone County Investigative Team in finding the truth and honoring James' memory," the Dupler family said in a statement. "There is hope in Jesus, and a measure of peace in knowing the truth."

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