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Published: Tuesday, 3/19/2013

Questions remain about evening of teenager’s death


More than six weeks after an 18-year-old senior at Ottawa Hills High School died in a fiery crash, investigators are still trying to piece together what happened that fateful night.

Raymond Rodriquez, agent-in-charge of the Toledo District Office for the Ohio Investigative Unit, said his department this week will be interviewing several more people about the accident that claimed the life of Brian N. Hoeflinger on Feb. 1.

“We have a couple of more interviews to go this week,” Mr. Rodriquez said. “This is a time-consuming process because we have to make sure it’s 100 percent accurate. We don’t want to make any mistakes.”

Investigators are trying to put together a chronology of events, he said.

What investigators do know is that Mr. Hoeflinger had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent when his southbound 2008 Pontiac G6 went off Edgehill Road and struck a tree near a bridge over the Ottawa River.

According to initial police reports, the youth had attended a classmate’s birthday party at a residence on Brantford Road in Ottawa Hills before the accident. The youth was last seen by friends between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., authorities initially reported. The crash occurred at 11:50 p.m.

Mr. Rodriquez said the investigation is focusing on several issues, including where Mr. Hoeflinger had been, where he had been drinking, and who provided the alcohol.

After the information has been gathered, the agency will recommend whether charges should be brought against those involved, he said.

Mr. Rodriquez said he could not predict when the investigation would be complete.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.

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