Community rallies around teens injured in New Whiteland crash


Students are coming together in Johnson County after fellow classmates were involved in a serious crash Tuesday.

The crash happened in New Whiteland near the intersection of US 31 and Tracy Road. Now the school community is praying for the three injured teens.

Students at Whiteland Community High School are still coming to grips with the fact that three of their fellow classmates were involved in a tragic accident Tuesday just a couple of miles north of their high school. They're getting the word out about this and supporting each other through social media.

Students are using the hashtag #FightBigMike on Twitter to let everyone know to come together. Wednesday morning, students arrived wearing pink after seeing the tweet to show their support for the injured students, including Michael Williams, who is in critical condition at IU Methodist Hospital.

Cliff Williams is Michael's uncle. He spoke to Eyewitness News Wednesday.

"It's a struggle for the family. He's still in a coma. He underwent brain surgery last night. So his condition is still about the same. Some of the swelling went down. We just continue to pray. What's keeping us strong is the community support, especially from Johnson County, and that's just what's basically helping the family out at this point," he said.

Williams described his nephew as a teen who loves sports - football and basketball. He asked everyone for prayers.

"I just ask for everybody to continue to pray for them because they're really, really needing it this morning," he said. 

The Williams family says Michael will be hospitalized for some time. 

"Basically what they're telling us is that we just have to take it day by day. We don't want to assume that he's going to come out of the coma. We pray that he does come out of the coma. We don't want to get our hopes up too high.  His condition is really, really serious, so we just want to continue to pray and hope that - let the doctors, they've done extremely well here, showing that they care for Mike as well. And without the doctors doing what they do. It's just a struggle," he said.

The town is also throwing its support behind the students. One of the restaurants changed their signboard to get the message out.

"The support that's coming from Johnson County is basically unreal. Like I said, that's exactly what's keeping the family together is the Facebook and the Twitter and the lot of positive comments about Mike. He's a strong kid, and we're praying and hoping that he makes it through this successfully," said Cliff Williams.

The accident happened around 3:40 pm Tuesday at US 31 and Tracy Road. Police say excessive speed was a factor. The car lost control and ended up hitting two other cars. A total of five cars were damaged.

The other drivers and passengers were checked out at the scene and released. But the three teens in the Mazda ended up in a ditch, with one, Michael Williams, taken to Methodist in critical condition. The other two students - two sisters - are in better condition.

Police are just beginning their investigation trying to figure out how and why this happened. Police say it appears the teens were not wearing seatbelts. At this point they do not believe charges will be filed.

Crash reconstruction:

According to New Whiteland Police, a white Mazda S3 was traveling south on US 31 when it struck the rear of a Chevrolet pickup truck in the right turn lane.  The impact pushed the pickup truck into the intersection, where it struck a struck a Mazda pickup beside it and a Chevrolet SUV going east through the intersection. 

The white Mazda S3 continued south through the intersection, striking a Jeep Cherokee SUV going west through the intersection. The Mazda S3 then went off the roadway to the west coming to rest in a backyard. 

Three teens were in the Mazda S3. They were taken to a local hospital. Four people in the Chevrolet SUV were checked out at the scene. No other injuries were reported at the scene.

The Mazda S3, Chevrolet pickup and Jeep Cherokee were towed from the scene.

Police say no criminal charges are anticipated at this time. 

New Whiteland Officers were assisted at the scene by Whiteland Police Department Officers.  New Whiteland Fire Department rescue responded for the injured.