INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two Ben Davis High School students are dead after a crash on I-70 Tuesday night.
The accident occurred shortly after 9:15 p.m. on eastbound I-70 near the Harding Street exit, just southwest of downtown.
18-year-old Brandon Gross died at the scene of the accident, while 17-year-old Taylor Parsons died after being transported to the hospital.
Video from the scene tells a frightening story; a crumbled SUV, sitting off to the side of the interstate. Five people were inside the SUV when it tumbled down the embankment.
Sean Quirk witnessed the crash, “I saw people getting ejected from the vehicle. It was actually pretty scary.”
Quirk didn’t notice the SUV until it was crashing. He saw it slide off the ramp and roll several times down the hill.
“That was pretty crazy. It looked like a guy that was laying there. He wasn’t really moving and stuff,” Quirk said.
Quirck called 911. Within minutes, he says police arrived. Sgt John Perrine of the Indiana State Police was one of many who responded.
“You remember those fatal crashes. You remember the families that you talk to. You remember the victims. Especially these that involved young teenage lives that were lost. So, it’s hard,” said Sgt. Perrine.
According to Sgt. Perrine, Parsons was behind the wheel and driving at a high rate of speed. He says she crossed three lanes on I-70, attempting to get off on Harding Street. Sgt. Perrine says her vehicle slid uncontrollably and then rolled down the hill, flipping over multiple times until it landed on its side. All five teenagers were ejected. According to Sgt. Perrine, none were wearing seatbelts.
“There’s no way of knowing if a seat belt would’ve saved Brandon or Taylor’s life,” said Sgt. Perrine. He continued, “But, being ejected from a crash, definitely heightens your chance of serious injury.”
It’s a lesson that comes too late for Parsons or Gross, but hopefully not for the others.
“I hope the ambulance got there in time, and it saved their lives. I hope the people still in the hospital fighting for their lives, pull through,” said Quirk.
Indiana State police identified the other passengers as 19-year old Michael Blackmore, 18-year-old Olivia Evans and 17-year old Kristopher Church. Blackmore and Evans are both at IU Health Methodist Hospital in serious but stable condition. Church is at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition.
Police are looking into the possibility of another vehicle that may have chased the Pathfinder from an earlier accident.
If you have any information on the crash, you are urged to call Indiana State Police at 317-899-8577.
The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township released a statement in regards to the crash:
The MSD of Wayne Township is heartbroken over the loss of two Ben Davis High School students in a fatal accident Tuesday night. This loss will be felt by our entire community. Grief counseling will be available for students and staff at Ben Davis.