A Douglas County Sheriff’s officer last Saturday administered field sobriety tests to the driver of a Jeep that a Topeka man fell from and later died.
“He passed all of those,” said Sgt. Steve Lewis, a Douglas County Sheriff’s spokesman.
The accident occurred about 8:05 p.m. Saturday on private property in the 1800 block of East 56 Road in northwestern Douglas County. Mark Coker, who turned 43 two days before the accident, died Sunday at Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka.
An accident report released Friday identified the Jeep’s driver as Craig A. Heersink, 41, of Tecumseh. He was driving the 1998 Jeep Wrangler northeast on a private gravel road when Coker, who was riding on the rear bumper, fell and suffered a head injury. No one else was hurt.
Three other people were riding inside the vehicle with Heersink. It was unknown if any of the four wore seat belts. The report said a 24-year-old Topeka man was riding on the back bumper with Coker, who was a longtime employee of the Shawnee Heights school district.
The report notes officers observed signs Heersink had drunk alcohol, but it does not say alcohol contributed to the accident.
Lewis said the sheriff’s office would forward information about the accident to Douglas County prosecutors to review because it resulted in a fatality. The accident report lists no traffic citations or contributing circumstances.