BOONE COUNTY, Ind. — Two people are dead and four others injured following an early morning crash in Boone County.
The crash happened around 4:30 a.m. on State Road 32 near County Road 600 East. That’s just south of Gadsden. The single-vehicle crash has caused State Road 32 to be closed from 600 East to U.S. 421.
Police say before the crash, the vehicle, which had six people inside, was involved in a pursuit that began in Lawrence. The chase was terminated near I-65. Sometime after that, the vehicle crashed on State Road 32 in Boone County.
Police have confirmed two people died in the crash. The driver, a 14-year-old boy, and the front passenger, a 13-year-old girl, were killed.
The deceased were later identified by authorities as Nazire Parks, 14 and Kamyla Young, 13, both of Indianapolis.
“It’s really sad and it’s really heartbreaking for me as the sheriff to see this today,” said Boone County sheriff Mike Nielsen.
Four other juveniles in the vehicle were taken to Indianapolis hospitals: two 12-year-olds, a 15-year-old, and a 16-year-old.
It’s not clear why the young kids were out in the early morning, but the ages of the victims took an emotional toll on everyone involved.
“I’ve done this job for 38 years and it’s never easy. Those first responders will have to deal with this the rest of their lives. They’ll never be able to unsee what they saw,” said Nielsen.
“It’s a terrible tragedy. Many lives have been permanently altered here and that’s not lost on anybody,” said Lawrence deputy chief Gary Woodruff.
Lawrence police admit they began a pursuit of the vehicle, but insist they called off that chase.
“It’s my understanding Lawrence officers were not in active pursuit when the crash occurred. It had been terminated in Marion County,” said Woodruff.
Despite our repeated requests, investigators did not explain what sparked the pursuit that started around 4 a.m. and lasted for 15 minutes, but officers from Lawrence remained in Boone County after the chase and actually responded to the crash.
Investigators say Lawrence officers were on the scene before the first 911 call came in from a neighbor.
“Lawrence officers apparently did find the crash initially, but again we were not engaged in an active pursuit at that time,” said Woodruff.
The sheriff promised a thorough and transparent investigation.
Anyone with information on the case can contact the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.