(Holton, Ind.) – A 14-month-old boy died after being struck by a pickup truck in Ripley County Thursday evening.
Police were called to 4722 W. Hopewell Road in Holton at about 6:53 p.m. for a report of a child hit by a vehicle, said Sheriff Tom Grills. When officers arrived on scene, CPR was already in progress on one-year-old Adrik Hanaway, who was lying in the middle of the road.
Hanaway, of North Vernon, had been playing in a yard along the road with his older sister and brother just 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 Adrik to Jennings County Hospital in critical condition. Adrik was then flown by PHI to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis where he died.
The driver of the 1992 Ford Ranger pickup, Jonathon Phillips, 19, of Holton, told officers he was driving westbound on Hopewell Road at approximately 38 mph. Phillips said he had been texting before the accident. Phillips said he looked down to set his cell phone down, when he hit something in the roadway.
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.
Phillips was very distraught, but cooperated with investigators completely. Officers do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.
“Once the investigation is near completion, information will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review,” Grills said.
The accident is being investigated by the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, who was also assisted at the scene by Osgood, Holton, and Versailles Police Departments, Indiana State Police, Holton Fire, Rescue 69, and Ripley County Medic.
Grills reiterated that driving a vehicle requires all of the driver’s attention.
“Communication devices, radios, eating, reading material, and applying make-up, to name a few, are all things officers observe on the roadways that distracts drivers and leads to tragedies such as this,” the sheriff said.