Documents: Man facing vehicular manslaughter charge was driving 109 mph before fatal crash occurred
IDAHO FALLS — A local man has been charged with vehicular manslaughter after a passenger died following a head-on collision with another vehicle.
Jacob Koplin, 21, was driving east on 33rd North on Aug. 5, with Michael Hinckley, 21, in the passenger seat, according to court documents. Koplin crossed a double yellow line into oncoming traffic in an attempt to pass a service vehicle. He collided head-on with a Dodge truck.
Hinckley died as a result of his injuries at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Documents show when police first arrived at the scene near the 33rd North and Jack Jensen Road intersection, they found two people, Koplin and Hinckley, in a white Infiniti G37. Both were breathing, but neither were responsive. Hinckley was the only one who had been wearing a seatbelt, according to documents.
Police found four people in a blue Dodge Ram truck that had been towing a boat trailer. The boat itself had broken free of its tie-downs and came to rest on top of the truck. The driver, his wife and daughter all suffered broken bones. No one in the truck were wearing seatbelts, according to police. Both vehicles sustained severe damage. Everyone involved in the crash were transported to EIRMC.
According to documents, when police investigators processed the Infiniti for evidence the speedometer showed 70 mph. 33rd North is an unmarked 50 mph country road. Using security camera footage from a nearby residence, police were able to determine Koplin was traveling around 109 mph on a section of the road shortly before the crash happened.
Koplin was charged with vehicular manslaughter on Nov. 30. He was scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 2; however, that was postponed and is now scheduled for Jan. 17.
The driver of the Dodge told police he saw Koplin’s vehicle heading towards him but didn’t have time to react before their vehicles collided.