RIPLEY COUNTY, Ind. - The Indiana State police say racing was not a factor in a crash that killed three high school students and injured three others in Ripley County.
Officials said 18-year-old Jacob Vogel, 17-year-old Timothy Bowman and 18-year-old Samantha Hansen died Thursday in a crash on County Road 850 W. near Osgood.
The students were attending a Future Farmers of America event at a church before the crash happened.
Sgt. Noel Houze said crash reconstructionists and officials with the prosecutor’s office went back out to the scene Monday.
Officials said troopers ruled out racing as a factor in the crash.
Troopers said investigators spoke with two of the surviving teenagers and determined that the group left the event at the Hopewell Church a few minutes apart, but that neither driver knew the other had left.
Police said the Dodge Ram pickup driven by 17-year-old Thomas Crawford had to turn west away from the church because the truck was too large to turn left and go east on Hopewell Road.
Officers said that would explain why the vehicles were heading in different directions when they met at the intersection near where the crash happened.
Detectives said that since both drivers left at different times, and that they did not know the other had left, that would eliminate the possibility the vehicles were engaged in a race.
However, officers said that the drivers, identified as Bowman and Crawford, ignored the stop signs at the intersection.
Police said Crawford’s parents have sought legal counsel on his behalf and he was not interviewed as part of the investigation.
The ISP said once the investigation is complete, it will be handed over to the Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office to determine if any charges are warranted.
Meanwhile, the community is preparing for the visitations and funerals for the three victims.
A visitation for Jacob Vogel was scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at the Versailles Baptist Church. Rosary Services will open to the public at 4:45 p.m. His funeral mass will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. at the St. Charles Catholic Church.
Visitations services for Timothy Bowman will be held at the Hopewell Baptist Church from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. His funeral will be held Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Hopewell Baptist Church.
A visitation for Samantha Hansen will be held Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hopewell Baptist Church. Her funeral will be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
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