(Versailles, Ind.) - Charges have been filed against the surviving driver in a crash that killed three South Ripley High School students.
The Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office issued the charges against Thomas Crawford, 17, of Dillsboro, WLWT-TV reports. They include Reckless Homicide and Reckless Driving.
Crawford was driving one of two pickup trucks that ran a four-way stop at the intersection of Fairgrounds Road and County Road 850 West the morning of March 7. South Ripley students Timothy Bowman, Jacob Vogel and Samantha Hansen all died.
Indiana State Police investigators recommended the charges in a crash report given to the prosecutor’s office. Detectives believe Crawford’s truck was going faster than 70 MPH on the country road.
Two other survivors in the crash were riding in Crawford’s vehicle after the six students had left a church event in which the South Ripley Future Farmers of America were participating. They told investigators that Crawford had accelerated just prior to the collision.
“Knowing that it was Timothy ‘Curtis’ Bowman, Thomas said that he was going to beat him to the stop sign and sped up, which (survivor Kayla Adkinson) said that it looked faster than they should have been going. Kayla stated that Timothy ‘Curtis’ Bowman looked as if he was speeding also and thought that he was going to stop , but stated they never did,” the state police report stated.
Crawford’s parents have previously declined his questioning by police regarding the deadly crash.
A juvenile court hearing is scheduled for June 6 at 2:00 p.m. It’s unclear if prosecutors will try to take the case to adult court. If that does happen, the Reckless Homicide charge is a felony while Reckless Driving is a misdemeanor.