Pendleton accident

Officials work at the scene of an accident near Pendleton where a fatality was confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

PENDLETON — One of the teens involved in a deadly traffic accident on Wednesday has been arrested, and a search warrant has been executed on the other.

Lloyd Gillespie, 70, of Fortville, was killed on State Road 67 when his Suzuki motorcycle collided head-on with a Chevrolet Malibu that had been knocked into the motorcycle's path by a Chevrolet Silverado truck, according to authorities. 

The driver of the Malibu, Darius McGhee, 19, of Pendleton, was arrested after the accident and faces preliminary charges of operating while intoxicated causing death and with a controlled substance and for not being licensed.

A search warrant for the home of 16-year-old Connor Gaskill — the driver of the Silverado — was filed by the Madison County prosecutor on Thursday. Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said the accident is still under investigation and no formal charges have been filed. The Indiana State Police is investigating the accident and will submit all evidence to his office before he makes a decision, Cummings said.

Regardless of what happens, Gillespie's family said he wasn't the type of man to hold a grudge, and wouldn't want his death to haunt the memories of the two young men involved.

"My dad was an awesome guy," Gillespie's daughter, Tammy Beaty-Staley, said in a phone interview on Thursday. "He was a giving, loving individual. He loved God, his cars and his family. And he loved to ride his motorcycle."

Gillespie was wearing a helmet and had no fault in the accident, according to police. The wreck happened at about 3 p.m. on Indiana 67 just south of the intersection with Indiana 38 near Pendleton Heights High School. According to ISP investigators, the Malibu and the Silverado were lined up in northbound traffic behind a tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer slowed to make a right turn into the Gardner Wrecking Company parking lot. The Malibu also slowed in traffic behind the trailer and was rear-ended by the Silverado, which apparently didn't slow down. The impact pushed the Malibu into the southbound lane and into the path of the oncoming motorcycle driven by Gillespie. Neither McGhee nor Gaskill were injured.

Madison County Jail records show McGhee was processed and released on a $10,000 bond early Thursday morning.

Operating while intoxicated causing death is a Level 5 felony. McGhee was also driving on a suspended license.

Gaskill, a student at Pendleton Heights High School, was in good health and back in school on Thursday, according to a family member. The woman, who said she was Gaskill's grandmother, declined to comment further on the accident. PHHS Principal Mark Hall also declined to comment on the accident.

ISP public information officer John Bowling said the cause of the crash is still under investigation and he couldn't discuss the substance in question with regards to McGhee's arrest.

Beaty-Staley said the family was still grieving the loss of Gillespie on Thursday and have few details of the accident. She said her father was a "young" 70-year-old, and it was not uncommon for him to be riding his motorcycle if the weather was nice.

"Nobody else knew he was that old," she said. "He was a wonderful husband to my mom for 53 years. We just want people to know he was not at fault. The officers told us he did everything he was supposed to do in the situation."

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