The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

June 17, 2014

Report of deadly accident: Car had flat tire, alcohol found in glove compartment

DALEVILLE — A report issued on a deadly June 3 accident that claimed the life of a 4-year-old girl indicates that a half-full bottle of vodka was found in the glove compartment of the car believed to have caused the wreck. Police also believe the car had a flat tire, which might have contributed to the wreck.

Authorities are still investigating the accident, which killed Tavionna Ford of Indianapolis and seriously injured five others, and have not yet decided whether to pursue criminal charges. Delaware County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Judi Calhoun said on Tuesday that the office still hasn't received all the information in the case from the investigating agency, the Indiana State Police. Until that happens, she said she couldn't comment on possible charges. Sgt. John Bowling of ISP said there is no news on the investigation.

According to the accident report, the two-car collision happened when a Chrysler 300 driven by Ford's grandmother Donna Randolph, 41, of Indianapolis, pulled out of the median crossover just south of Exit 234 and attempted to head north toward the exit. Randolph told police she had a flat tire and missed the intended exit at mile marker 226 in Anderson.

After missing the exit, Randolph continued north and got off on Exit 234 intending to turn around and head back to Exit 226. As she headed back south, she said she felt the tire pressure go low and pulled into the crossover, which is off-limits to non-emergency vehicles. She checked her tires, got back into the car, and pulled back into the northbound lanes. She said she then felt the tire blow and was then hit from behind.

The Chrysler was rear-ended by a Dodge pickup truck driven by 72-year-old Harold Shemberger of Michigan. The impact destroyed the Chrysler, sending the wreckage spinning clockwise and eventually coming to rest off the roadway in a ditch east of the interstate. The truck continued off the roadway, through the ditch, past a fence and finally into a field.

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