Indiana police: Speed a factor in fatal Ripley County crash

OSGOOD, Ind. - Indiana police released Thursday new details on a fatal crash that killed three high school students in Ripley County last month.

On March 7, police responded to a two-vehicle accident involving a Dodge Ram pickup truck and a Ford F-250 pickup at the intersection of Fairground Road and Country Road 850 W in Osgood, Ind. around 9:45 a.m.

State police said the Dodge Ram was heading east on Fairgrounds Road and the Ford F-250 was heading north on County Road 850 W.

According to a new report released Thursday, police say the driver of the Dodge Ram sped up to get to a four-way stop intersection before the Ford F-250.

Investigators say both vehicles disregarded the stop sign before they collided.

The front of the Dodge struck the Ford on the driver's side which sent both vehicles off the road and into a cornfield before stopping, police say.

Police said the students had left a Future Farmers of America event at a rural church before the crash.

The collision killed 18-year-old Jacob Vogel, 17-year-old Timothy Bowman and 18-year-old Samantha Hansen, who were all students at South Ripley High School.

Investigators said Bowman was driving the Ford pickup and Vogel was his passenger. Hansen was a front-seat passenger in the Dodge Ram.

"It's really tough knowing that people we love made poor decisions and just decided to do some idiotic things that teenagers do," said Stacie Kroger, a friend to those involved in the accident. "They got unlucky and they ended up suffering from it, but all we can do is just learn from the experience and teach each other to be safe when driving."

State police said the other three victims suffered injuries, but were able to get out of the vehicles at the time of the crash.

Officers identified the other victims as 17-year-old Thomas Crawford, of Dillsboro, 15-year-old Caleb Cumberworth, of Holton, and 15-year-old Kayla Adkinson, also of Holton.

Police spoke to two surviving passengers of the Dodge Ram, who stated Crawford sped up to intentionally run the stop sign before the collision occurred, according to a report.

On April 8, Trooper Jeff Cumberworth spoke with Caleb Cumberworth, who was a right rear passenger in the Dodge Ram. Caleb told the officer he left with Crawford, Hansen and Adkinson to go to Osgood to purchase drinks for the event, after the church ran out.

Adkinson was in the front middle, Hansen was the front passenger and Crawford was driving the truck.

According to Caleb's testimony, Crawford sped up when he saw a red Dodge ahead driven by their friend Jacob Steuver. Caleb said Crawford shifted the truck into fifth gear and asked Hansen if she saw anything coming to which she replied, "I don't see anybody."

Caleb said the last thing he saw was a red flash ahead before he felt the crash, according to police.

Trooper Cumberworth also spoke with Adkinson, who said Crawford was speeding in order to catch up with Bowman's Ford F-250. According to Adkinson, Crawford was trying to beat Bowman to the stop sign ahead. She told police it looked as if he was speeding and thought he was going to stop, but he never did.

She also told police Bowman extended his arm in front of her before the impact.

Adkinson said the Dodge Ram struck the other truck in the middle and that neither vehicle braked before the impact.

Police say Caleb's view from the backset of the truck limited his vision, which is why he only saw Steuver's vehicle ahead, not Bowman's truck.

Steuver, who witnessed the crash in his rear-view mirror, told police he saw Bowman run the stop sign.

Investigators also discovered Crawford was cited for speeding nearly three weeks before the collision. According to a police report, Crawford was cited for driving 85 mph hour in a 55 mph zone. The officer reduced the speed to 70 mph for the citation.

The damaged vehicles were obtained by police for investigation but released to the families and insurance companies after March 15.

Police say blood results for both drivers will be released on a later date.

No charges have been filed, and the accident remains under investigation.

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