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OSGOOD, Ind. - The mother of one of three high school classmates killed in a Ripley County crash March 7 reacted strongly after another classmate was charged with reckless driving and reckless homicide.
Thomas Crawford, 17, was driving his truck more than 80 mph when he crashed into another classmate's truck while speeding to beat him to an intersection, prosecutors said. The trucks were carrying six students from South Ripley High School.
Ann Vogel told 9 On Your Side's Tom McKee that Crawford nearly crashed into a school bus a few hours before the fatal accident and got a speeding ticket in February going 85 through Versailles.
"I hope that the judge does the right thing and makes this stick and says -- a very strong statement that says -- we will not tolerate this kind of behavior in Ripley County from any driver," Vogel said Thursday.
The crash killed her son, 18-year-old Jacob Vogel, along with the other driver, 17-year-old Timothy Bowman, and 18-year-old Samantha Hansen. Crawford and two other classmates were injured.
Earlier that fateful morning, Crawford's truck nearly hit a school bus picking up children, Vogel said.
"I have a written statement to the state police by a Jac-Cen-Del school bus driver that he was going sideways toward her bus while she was picking up children -- almost hit her. She felt compelled to move to the side of the road to avoid collision," Vogel said.
Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel said filing the charges was a difficult decision that half the community may like and the other half may hate.
"Given that Thomas Crawford is a juvenile, we felt that these were the most appropriate given the circumstances and the facts and evidence that was presented to us," Hertel said.
Crawford's case is in juvenile court for now. If he is judged to be a delinquent, punishment could include incarceration in a juvenile facility, probation, license suspension or community service. A hearing is scheduled for June 6.
Vogel is hoping she doesn't come face-to-face with Crawford.
"I wouldn't say anything. I'd turn around and walk away because saying nothing would be better than saying something I might regret in 10 years," she said. "Right now, I'm not in a place for forgiveness."
Police said Crawford's Dodge Ram and Bowman's Ford F-250 collided at the intersection of Fairground Road and Country Road 850 W in Osgood about 9:45 a.m.
State police said Crawford was heading east on Fairgrounds Road and Bowman was heading north on County Road 850 W.
According to investigators, Crawford sped up to get to a four-way stop before Bowman. Both vehicles disregarded the stop sign before they collided, investigators said.
Investigators said Vogel was a passenger in Bowman's truck and Hansen was a front-seat passenger in Crawford's truck. Caleb Cumberworth, 15, and Kayla Adkinson, 15, were also riding with Crawford and were injured.
Police said the students had left a Future Farmers of America event at a rural church before the crash.
Vogel wanted to be a farmer, his mom said. "He was a good kid."
Crawford was cited for speeding nearly three weeks before the collision. According to a report, the teen was cited for driving 85 mph hour in a 55 mph zone. The officer reduced the speed to 70 mph for the citation.
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