The Court of Appeals ruled that it was appropriate to sentence him to 10 years in prison for each of the victims he killed. In its opinion, the court said, “Perhaps most importantly, the existence of multiple victims in this case clearly warrants the imposition of consecutive sentences, as has been repeatedly held by our courts.”
According to documents filed with the charges, investigators said Dager was drunk when he crashed into another vehicle at 4:45 a.m. April 4 on Indiana 1 in northern Wells County, killing all three people inside that northbound car: driver Rebecca Prentice, 72, of Ossian and passengers Paul Penrod, 64, of Murray and Karen Smith, 65, of Bluffton. The three people killed were headed for Fort Wayne International Airport, where Smith and Penrod were to leave for a vacation in Hawaii.
Prentice and Penrod died at the site of the crash, about a quarter-mile north of Wells County Road 1100 North on Indiana 1. Smith lived long enough to tell a medic about the wreck. She died about 2 1/2 hours later at Lutheran Hospital.