Survivor of crash that killed Indiana girlfriend arrested

Survivor of crash that killed Indiana girlfriend arrested
The vehicle Kevin Bell was trapped in for three days. (Source: Indiana State Police)
The vehicle Kevin Bell was trapped in for three days. (Source: Indiana State Police)

JENNINGS COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - The man behind the wheel in a crash that killed his girlfriend is now in police custody.

Kevin Bell, 39, was charged on Sept. 28, several days after the crash that killed his girlfriend, 37-year-old Nikki Reed. He was charged with the following:

+ Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death
+ Failure to report a dead body
+ Driving on a suspended license
+ False informing

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Bell, of Dover, Pa., wasn't arrested until Monday, when he was booked into the Marion County Jail, in Indianapolis, on the above charges. He had suffered injuries in the crash and was taken to a hospital when he was found three days later. Bell told WAVE 3 News last month that he lost control of the SUV and slammed into a tree not visible from the road in Jennings County. The vehicle plummeted down a ravine and slammed into a tree 100 feet below. It happened on a Saturday and Bell wasn't discovered until a passerby found him on the side of the road on Tuesday.

Also in his interview with WAVE 3 News on Sept. 30, Bell described hearing Reed's cellphone going off, but he couldn't get to it -- or his own phone -- right away because he was in so much pain. Eventually, he got to the back seat, texted a friend that he'd gotten into an accident, then said he tried to call 911 but his phone died. He found some water and Gatorade and then finally decided to grab some of his belongings -- including a bag containing two bowling balls -- and crawl back up the embankment to find help.

Once Indiana State Police troopers got involved, they learned that Bell had a recently-issued warrant out on a harassment charge, but he told WAVE 3 News he wasn't traveling to Indiana to avoid that. He said he was going to Seymour, Ind., to attend a birthday party for one of Reed's three children.

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While investigating Bell's background, WAVE 3 News reporter Katie Bauer discovered court documents indicating he had hit a motorcyclist in Pennsylvania and did not report it to police. That man eventually died from his injuries and Bell was sent to prison. He was released after five months on good behavior.

It's not clear if Bell will face additional charges directly related to Bell's death.

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