(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A Sunman woman has been arrested and charged Friday after coming forward claiming she may be responsible for a deadly accident on North Dearborn Road.
Casey Fox, the uncle of three-year-old Jack
Carpenter, speaks at a press conference
Friday afternoon where a felony charge against
Christy Shackelford-Grammer was annnounced.
Mike Perleberg-Eagle 99.3
Dearborn County Sheriff’s Office detective Shane McHenry made the announcement during a press conference at the Dearborn County Administration Building in Lawrenceburg Friday afternoon.
Christy Shackelford-Grammer, 32, has been charged with Failure to Stop after an Accident Resulting in Death, a Class C felony punishable by two to eight years in prison.
According to a court affidavit, Shackelford-Grammer was reading news reports later Tuesday night and came to the realization that she may have hit and killed three-year-old Jack Carpenter with her truck Tuesday afternoon as she was driving home from taking one of her children to a doctor’s office in Bright.
She contacted Aurora Police Officer Mike Prudenti who was an acquaintance on Wednesday about 2:30 a.m. That was about 13 hours after the accident.
“She was upset and stated that she may have been the person who ran over the child,” said McHenry.
With four children in her Dodge quad-cab pickup truck at the time, Shackelford-Grammer told the Aurora officer that she had become distracted. She realized she had hit something when driving west on North Dearborn Road approaching the North Dearborn Library.
Shackelford-Grammer said she looked in the rearview mirror and saw an object lying on the ground, but thought it was only a deer. Whether that’s what she actually thought at the time is a mystery.
“She’s the only person that holds that answer,” McHenry said.
Soon afterwards, she pulled into the parking lot of the nearby library because one of her children was getting sick investigators were told. She checked the front bumper of the truck but did not see any damage. She then continued on to a grocery store to pick up eggs and head home.
Dearborn County Sheriff's Office
Later Wednesday, Shackelford-Grammer’s truck was towed to the Lawrenceburg Police Department garage where it was inspected. Evidence technicians found hair in the broken grill of the truck as well as blood in the right rear-wheel well.
In addition to Jack Carpenter’s mother Beth Carpenter, one other person claimed to witness the accident. Donald Stutz told detectives he was driving in front of the pickup truck when he came around the bend near Henderson Road and observed two young children standing near the two-lane road.
Stutz told police he honked his horn at the children. As he passed, Stutz peered into his rearview mirror and witnessed the impact. He pulled over but said the pickup passed by.
Stutz attempted the follow the vehicle but failed to follow it into the library parking lot. He turned around at the next road, but the pickup had left the library and could not be found.
Jack's mother Beth Carpenter told police in the days following the accident that neighbors four or five doors down heard the screams and did not understand how a driver could not have seen her son.
Shackelford-Grammer, who just turned 32-years-old on Thursday, was arrested within the hour of the announcement of the charges Friday.
A representative of the Carpenter family and Jack’s uncle, Casey Fox, spoke at the announcement Friday.
Jack Carpenter, 3, was
killed after being hit by
a pickup truck Tuesday.
“Jack was a huge part of our family. He leaves behind four loving sisters that are having difficulty with this,” Fox said breaking into tears.
“One of the wounds was finding the person that changed our lives forever. We can start healing our wounds today. The Carpenters thought long and hard about speaking to the media Tuesday night. They felt it helped.”
Fox also thanked neighbors and friends who have stopped by the Carpenter’s home to help provide comfort.
Meanwhile, little Jack Carpenter will be laid to rest this weekend. Friends and family will attend the boy’s visitation at Bright Christian Church from 5:00 to 8:00 Friday evening. The funeral will be Saturday morning at 10:00 at the church.
Shackelford-Grammer will be held at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center. She will likely make her initial appearance in court next week.
The truck suspected in a hit-and-run on
North Dearborn Road Thursday was found
to have hair stuck in the grill when
police inspected it.
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