Wakarusa man charged with causing wife’s death after 2017 crash

A Wakarusa man who allegedly had cocaine in his system when he got in a head-on crash that killed his wife last year is facing new charges.

55-year-old Lamar Mast is charged with three felonies dealing with driving intoxicated, one of which is a level 4 felony of causing death while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance.

Court documents say Mast drove his car across the center line on S.R. 19 north of Nappanee the afternoon of May 31, 2017. He was hit by a car going the other way being driven by an Elkhart man, who had suffered life-threatening injuries and was flown to Memorial Hospital in South Bend. His passenger, a Nappanee man, also suffered serious injuries and was treated at Elkhart General Hospital.

Mast and his wife, 53-year-old Jean Mast, were extricated from their vehicle. Jean Mast later died of multiple blunt force injuries. Lamar Mast recovered, though he allegedly tested positive for cocaine while in the hospital and still needed crutches when he appeared in court this past week.

Mast faces a total of 17 years in prison if convicted.