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Prosecutor to review crash that killed teen

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Released from Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis sometime Sunday, it is unclear what lies ahead for a Brazil teenager involved in a fatal traffic accident in Putnam County Saturday.

Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter was at the accident scene at the Clay-Putnam County line where Brandee N. Siples, 17, Brazil, died after her boyfriend, Cody Wright, 18, Brazil, crashed a 1992 Chevrolet Camaro during a high-speed pursuit with Indiana State Police.

Unable to comment on whether Wright will be charged, Bookwalter told The Brazil Times Monday that he plans to review the details of the completed Indiana State Police investigation.

"I deal with cases like this two to three times a year and they are always a tragedy," Bookwalter, a parent of three children, said. "Teenagers driving reckless are every parent's worst nightmare."

Bookwalter said the most curious part of this case is the reason why Wright was driving in excess of 100 mph before contact with the two ISP troopers who attempted to perform a traffic stop.

Around 10:40 a.m., Saturday, Wright, 18, was "clocked" at 117 mph in a posted 45 mph speed zone near Putnamville and then further west on Highway 40 at 129 mph near the Clay-Putnam County line by two separate Indiana State Police troopers. Wright even passed one fully marked ISP vehicle.

Traveling south on CR 500 East (CR 900 West in Putnam County) at speeds of approximately 85-90 mph on the numerous rolling hills of the two-lane blacktop road, Wright lost control of his vehicle when he topped a small hill and went off the east side of the road.

The vehicle went up an embankment and became airborne for a distance of approximately 45 feet, striking several trees along the way and landing on its wheels in a 20-foot deep ravine.

"Everyone at the scene was greatly affected by the senseless death of this young woman," Bookwalter said.

In similar accidents of this type, Bookwalter said other drivers have been charged for their bad decisions although they might not have intended for anyone get hurt.

"When a young life is extinguished, all their hopes and dreams are gone. It is a serious matter when a reckless driver is involved in an accident that takes the life of another human being," he said. "I take these types of cases very serious."

Two charges a driver could face for this type of incident include a class C felony charge of reckless homicide (punishable by 2-8 years) and class B felony charge of resisting law enforcement resulting in death (punishable by 6-20 years).

Bookwalter will not determine if Wright will be charged until after reviewing the Indiana State Police accident report, which is expected to be completed on or before Wednesday.

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It was a terrible tragedy,no matter why it happened. Parents and teens both have to be responsible for their actions.This will unfortunetly not have a good outcome for anyone.My prayers are with both families.

-- Posted by redrose2 on Tue, Nov 20, 2007, at 2:29 PM

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