Police eliminate racing as cause of fatal Ripley County crash as investigation continues

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RIPLEY COUNTY – Indiana State Police have eliminated racing as a contributing factor in the fatal crash that killed three South Ripley High School students.

Investigators have interviewed two of the surviving teens. The interviews revealed that both trucks left the FFA event at Hopewell Church a few minutes apart. One of the trucks went west on Hopewell Road away from the church because the truck was too big to get through the other vehicles parked in the area. After that truck left, the second pickup drove to County Road 850 West and turned north. That’s how the students were leaving the same event yet driving in different directions.

Each driver was unaware that the other had departed, police said. That information allowed investigators to eliminate speculation that racing played a role in the crash, which killed students Timothy Bowman, Jacob Vogel and Samantha Hansen. Three others were hurt: Tommy Crawford, Caleb Cumberworth and Kayla Adkinson.

Under state law, parental consent is needed to interview a juvenile. State police said Crawford’s parents have declined such an interview at this time and are seeking counsel on behalf of their son.

The investigation will be forwarded to the Ripley County Prosecutor’s office to determine if any charges are warranted.

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