Cyclist hit by alleged drunk driver in Hancock Co. dies; Teen held for OWI

Carla McCloud (left) died of injuries suffered in an August 2011 crash by a drunk driver. Amanda Wheeler was injured.

A 17-year old is in custody after plowing a car into the back of two cyclists, killing one and injuring the other in Hancock County. Police believe the teen was driving while intoxicated.
Eyewitness News has learned the women, Carla McCloud and Amanda Wheeler, both 22, are cousins. The Hancock County Sheriff's Department confirmed McCloud died of her injuries Wednesday. Wheeler is in stable condition and recovering at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
Neighbors say they simply heard a crunch Tuesday night. They didn't know the severity of the accident until learning that one of the young women had been transported to the middle school where a Lifeline helicopter was waiting.

McCloud and Wheeler were both struck from behind by the same car while on a bike ride Tuesday night. Markings on the road show they were westbound on CR 300 South between Greenfield and New Palestine, when a 17-year old plowed into them.

"They were like sisters really, more than cousins," said neighbor Becky Heflin. "Carla loved to ride a bike, she told me that a couple of weeks ago."

The unidentified juvenile suspected of operating while intoxicated was not injured and was taken to a juvenile facility in Delaware County for detention. (Hancock County does not have a juvenile detention facility.)

"It's very hard," said Heflin, whose husband Bob saw the duo when they left home.

It was just before 9 p.m. and it was still light outside.

"Carla had on a nice bright orange t-shirt, Mandy's was kind of a red color," Bob Heflin told Eyewitness News.  

"He watched the girls go on their bike, and then a little while longer he heard sirens and stuff," added his wife.  

"I seen the police car down the road and I told Bec, 'Something's happened'," Bob Heflin recalled.

Their worst fears now confirmed. The cousins who both love children and worked at Community Hospital were hurt, one fatally.

Wednesday afternoon, the Heflins were remembering better times.

"Mandy would come over, when they were younger, Mandy would spend the night, spend the weekend together and Mandy was always over here," Becky said.

The 17-year-old suspect remains in juvenile custody, charged with operating while intoxicated.