News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 6, 2013

ATV crash claims lives of adult driver, 2 children

Speed and alcohol may have contributed to deadly crash, preliminary reports say

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A toddler hurt in an ATV crash in Clay County on Sunday that claimed three other lives remained in stable condition at an Indianapolis hospital Monday evening.

Two-year-old Xavier Rawls of Harvey, Ill., which is south of Chicago, was airlifted to Riley Hospital Sunday after the crash near Center Point around 6 p.m. The toddler was initially listed in serious condition, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Killed in the crash were the ATV’s operator, Andrea Allen, 22, of Indianapolis, Jaylen Rawls, 1, of Harvey, Ill., and Nevaeh Dempsey, 2, of Indianapolis.

Jaylen Rawls and Dempsey were killed instantly by the crash, according to a news release from the  DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. The Clay County coroner’s office stated Monday evening the children died from blunt force trauma injuries.

Allen was also airlifted Sunday to an Indianapolis hospital where she later died of multiple blunt force trauma injuries, according to the Marion County coroner’s office.

The three children were all passengers on the 1996 Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV/single seat four-wheeler. A preliminary investigation indicates that speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors in the crash, according to the DNR news release.

Indiana Conservation Officer Chris Springstun said that at 6 p.m., the Clay County Sheriff’s Department received reports of an ATV being driven recklessly on County Road 200 North, east of Indiana 59. A short time later, a crash involving an ATV was reported. A post-crash fire consumed the vehicle. The ATV struck a concrete culvert wall adjacent to the road, police said.

Springstun reports that a witness, Franklin Davis Jr. of Indianapolis, was fishing nearby and observed the accident. Davis was able to pull Allen and the surviving child from the burning wreckage.

The crash is being investigated by Indiana Conservation Officers with help from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police and the coroners’ offices in Clay and Marion counties. Other agencies assisting at the scene of the accident were Center Point Volunteer Fire Department and Trans Care ambulance.

According to Department of Natural Resources, 271 ATV accidents were reported in 2012, with 305 injuries and 15 fatalities. So far in 2013, DNR reports 140 accidents, 163 injuries and 12 fatalities, including the deaths from Sunday’s crash.