Union Township man charged in fatal South Haven hit-and-run
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent April 11, 2013 10:44PM
Ryan Cash, 18, of Union Township, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death in an April 6, 2013, hit-and-run incident that killed 45-year-old Brian Hagerman of South Haven. | Porter County Sheriff's Department~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 13, 2013 6:48AM
VALPARAISO — After a two-day manhunt, a Union Township man has been formally charged in the hit-and-run death of 45-year-old Brian Hagerman of South Haven.
Hagerman’s death Wednesday at South Bend Memorial Hospital from a fractured skull was the result of a Saturday collision in which he was thrown from a tan Chevrolet Impala after hanging on to the hood.
Ryan Cash, 18, 425 W. County Road 550N, faces up to eight years in prison on a Class C felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing death.
The incident happened about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the 700 block of Capitol Road after one of Cash’s passengers threw a stone through the window of the victim’s home, court records state.
The passenger did this because Hagerman’s son allegedly damaged property of a juvenile female in the car.
When Hagerman and members of his family and their friends came out to see what happened, they saw Cash’s vehicle going into a dead end and turning around.
The others got out of the road, but Hagerman stayed in the road as the Impala approached.
Witnesses said the car stopped, backed up and went forward again, hitting Hagerman, who clung to the hood before being thrown off.
Cash’s mother put the sheriff’s police in touch with her son on Monday after they questioned her about the car, which he drove regularly.
Cash told police in an interview Monday he was driving with friends when they got a phone call from the juvenile female and picked her up. Because he wasn’t familiar with South Haven, he followed their directions as they looked for the home of the person who allegedly damaged the girl’s property.
After they identified the house, an adult male got out of the car and ran back, and they drove into the dead end, Cash told police.
Cash said Hagerman jumped on the car’s hood when Cash drove toward him, and three of his five passengers told a similar story.
None of the passengers called police or an ambulance or tried to help Hagerman, and Cash hid out at a friend’s home. Cash sad he didn’t stay because he was afraid the man would hurt them.
When emergency workers arrived, Hagerman had a large wound on the back of his head and wasn’t responsive but was vomiting.