A 14-month-old child was struck by a pickup truck in front of 4722 W. Hopewell Road, Holton, Oct. 25, at about 6:53 p.m., according to Ripley County Communications.
When officers arrived, CPR was in progress on Adrik Hanaway, North Vernon, who was lying in the middle of the road, said Ripley County Sheriff Thomas Grills. Officers were told the toddler was playing in the yard with his older sister and brother before the accident. “It is unclear at this time why the child was in the roadway,” Grills said.
Rescue 69 personnel and the Ripley County Medic transported the boy to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, North Vernon, in critical condition. Hanaway was then flown by PHI to Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis where he died from injuries he received in the crash.
Jonathon Phillips, 19, Holton, told officers he was operating his 1992 Ford Ranger pickup heading westbound on Hopewell Road at approximately 38 mph. “Phillips said he had been texting before the accident,” according to the sheriff. The driver said he looked down to set his cell phone down, when he hit something in the road. Phillips said he thought he had struck an animal, and turned around to see what he had hit. When Phillips returned, he realized he had struck a child.
Grills reported, “Phillips was very distraught, but cooperated with investigators completely. Officers do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.”
The accident is being investigated by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, which was also assisted at the scene by Osgood, Holton, and Versailles police departments; Indiana State Police; and Holton firefighters.
Once the investigation is near completion, information will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review.
Grills said, “Law enforcement cannot reiterate enough driving a vehicle requires all of the driver’s attention. Communication devices, radios, eating, reading material and applying makeup, to name a few, are all things officers observe on the roadways that distracts drivers and leads to tragedies such as this.”