The Putnam County Prosecutor's Office filed two formal charges against Cody D. Wright, 18, Brazil, for his involvement in the fatal traffic accident at the Clay/Putnam County line where Brandee N. Siples, 17, Brazil, died.
According to the charging information provided to The Brazil Times by Prosecutor Timothy Bookwalter's office, Wright was charged in Putnam Circuit Court early Monday morning with resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness resulting in death, both class B felonies.
The probable cause affidavit in the case also released other details about the accident.
Around 10:40 a.m. Nov. 17, Wright was "clocked" at 117 mph in a posted 45 mph speed zone near Putnamville and then further west on United States 40 at 129 mph near the Clay/Putnam County line by Indiana State Police Master Troopers Bill Partridge and Dave Furnas.
Partridge spotted Wright in the Putnamville area and radioed Furnas, who was farther west on US 40, about the speeding vehicle. It was Furnas' vehicle that was narrowly missed when Wright came up from behind and passed the officer. Furnas witnessed Wright lock-up the brakes of the Camaro in order to negotiate the turn onto the Clay/Putnam County line.
Traveling south on County Road 500 East (CR 900 West in Putnam County) at speeds 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 just south of CR 875 S., and went off the east side of the road. The vehicle went up an embankment, became airborne, spun clockwise until it faced east for a distance of approximately 45 feet which placed the passenger side of the vehicle in a position to strike a tree, causing massive damage before the vehicle fell into a 20-foot ravine.
An autopsy performed by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Roland M. Kohr at Terre Haute Regional Hospital determined that Siples died from massive craniolcerebral trauma.
Wright was released from Indianapolis Wishard Hospital on Nov. 18 and was interviewed by ISP detectives at his home on Nov. 19.
Wright was able to remember driving his Camaro to Greencastle to pick up an employment application, going to a hardware store, his cell phone's screensaver of him doing a burnout in his Camaro while on a country road and his date of birth. However, when questioned about speeding, running from the police or the accident, Wright said he was unable to remember anything about the incident.
Bookwalter told The Brazil Times that cases like this are always a tragedy, but drivers are charged for bad driving decisions that lead to the death of another person, although they might not have intended for anyone get hurt.
"Teenagers driving reckless are every parents worst nightmare. 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."