Metro-East News

Woman arrested, charged 7 months after fatal hit-and-run accident near Nashville

Caitlin R. Happach
Caitlin R. Happach

A 26-year-old Woodlawn woman has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed one person in January on Interstate 64 near Nashville.

Illinois State Police say they’ve determined Caitlin R. Happach was driving the Cadillac that caused the fatal wreck on Jan. 5.

At the time of the accident police said a Cadillac was traveling east on I-64 on Jan. 5 when it attempted to pass a Toyota Avalon in the left lane at what police called a high rate of speed. The accident occurred near Nashville at milepost 47.

After passing the Toyota, the Cadillac tried to merge back into the right lane, striking the Toyota.

The Toyota then left the roadway and crashed into a tree, police said. One passenger, 93-year-old Ervin H. Goeden, was killed and another passenger was seriously injured.

Goeden was from Omaha, Nebraska.

Goeden’s family had offered a $3,000 reward at the time for information leading to the arrest of the hit-and-run driver. It was unclear Wednesday morning if anyone received the money upon Happach’s arrest, as Illinois State Police said they were not involved in offering the reward.

Happach was booked into the Jefferson County Jail on Tuesday, posted bond and was released. She is facing three felony charges — two counts of failure to report an accident and one county of reckless homicide.

Police said the investigation into the accident was still active.

Dana Rieck: 618-239-2642, @ByDanaRieck