Police: Speed a factor in crash that killed three teens

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Investigators say excessive speed was a factor in a Ripley County crash that killed three teens last month.

State Police public information officer Noel Houze says the investigation revealed that Thomas Crawford, the driver of a pickup truck, "did speed up in an attempt to catch up to another vehicle, and in doing so was also trying to get through the intersection" before another pickup truck.

See the crash report here.

The crash at the intersection of CR 850 West and Fairground Road in Ripley County also injured three teenagers.

"A useless loss of young life," said Clarence Sargent, a close family friend of Timothy Bowman, who died in the crash. "He was a worker and a hustler and very polite and mannerable to older people. Very respectful."

Bowman died at the scene, along with a passenger in his pick-up truck, 18-year-old Jacob Vogel. Another passenger, 15-year-old Caleb Cumberworth, suffered minor injuries.

The Ford F250 Bowman was driving collided with a Dodge Ram driven by Crawford, 17, of Dillsboro. He survived, but his passenger, 18-year-old Samantha Hanson, did not. A third passenger, 15-year-old Kayla Adkinson, was injured in the crash.

State troopers say the FFA members had just finished serving breakfast at a rural church when both drivers ran the stop sign.

According to the crash report, survivors of the crash told investigators that neither driver applied the brakes as they approached a four-way stop sign.  Police arrived at the same conclusion because they found no tire skid marks at the scene.

The investigation is in the hands of the Ripley County Prosecutor for consideration of what, if any, charges should be filed.