Five teens injured in early morning accident

Published:
Updated:

Carthage - Five teens were injured early Thursday morning when the car they were riding in left the road and struck a tree.

According to Rush County Sheriff Jeff Sherwood, deputies were dispatched on a report of an accident in the 9400 block of North Goose Road northeast of Carthage just after 4:00 am Thursday morning.

Deputies arrived and found a single car accident with five teen occupants in the vehicle. The sheriff says that the victims' injuries range from serious to critical. 

One of the victims, Aaron Jackson, was thrown from the vehicle and the vehicle, a Dodge Neon, landed on top of him. The car landed in a ditch.

Police say Perry Gorman, 18, was driving. Passengers were listed as Phillip Jackson, 18, Jamie Bush, 18, Aaron Jackson, 16, and Austin Spradlin, 16.

All five are Knightstown High School students. Phillip Jackson and Aaron Jackson are in critical condition at Methodist Hospital. Austin Spradlin was upgraded to good condition later Thursday.

Perry Gorman was taken to Rush County Memorial Hospital to be checked out but did not have serious injuries. Jamie Bush was taken to Hancock Regional Hospital, but was later transferred to Wishard Hospital in critical condition. She was later upgraded to fair condition.

Father of victim works to rescue daughter

The father of Jamie Bush says he had to operate emergency equipment to get his daughter and others out of the crumpled car.

Johnthein Bush says there weren't enough emergency workers on the scene to operate the "Jaws of Life."

Bush was once a volunteer firefighter and was trained on using the high power tool that cuts and pries crumpled metal apart. He grabbed the gear from the ambulance, opened up the car and medics were able to reach the victims.

Bush says he was so upset with the uninjured driver of the car that he hit that driver in the head with a flashlight.

Bush's daugher Jamie is in critical condition and unconscious. He told her he is praying for her and that her older sister is up above praying for her too. Three years ago this week, Bush lost his older daughter Jeri to an asthma attack.

Witness spotted wreck

Jon Jackson was driving home at 4:00 am when he spotted the wreck and recognized the car right away.

I just went up started asking them questions right away. Talked to them who was in the car. Some were able to give me names," he said.

Then he spotted the driver walking back to the accident from somewhere up the road.

"Because he walked all the way into Carthage to my friend's house. Passed so many houses where he could have stopped and asked for help. He said he left the scene to get help but then walked to a friends house and asked for mouthwash," said Jackson.

Jon Jackson's quick actions may have helped save lives at the scene.

"I feel very grateful. He was like and angel," said Bush, speaking about Jackson.

Police are still investigating the crash. They are looking at whether or not speed played a role, and the driver will undergo a blood alcohol level test.

The school district in that area, Charles A. Beard Schools, started their fall break Thursday.

Stepfather defends driver

The driver, 18-year-old Perry Austin Gorman, was treated and released after the accident. His stepfather told Eyewitness News Thursday night the teen is in a state of shock. His stepfather is confident alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

The Rush County Sheriff's Department tells Eyewitness News it could be two weeks before lab tests for drugs and alcohol come back.