Police: Road rage leads to crash involving high school students

Photo: Columbus Police
Columbus road rage crash
Road rage crash
Road rage crash

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WTHR) - Columbus police blame road rage for a wreck that flipped one of the cars on its roof in the middle of a city street. The driver accused of causing it may face criminal charges.

Thursday morning, 18-year-old Loren Wright was driving to high school.

"It was really scary and traumatizing," she said. "Not something you expect on your way to school in the morning. No one would expect."

Columbus Police Lt. Matthew Harris said Loren, her passenger, and the driver accused of causing the crash were all fortunate.

"The first thing comes to the mind of officers is the wonder that no one was more seriously injured," he said.

The crash occurred near Columbus East High School. Police photographs showed one of the cars flipped over in the middle of the street. Witnesses told police that the driver, 52-year-old Jerry Wynn, rammed his car into the students, "pushing the student's vehicle into the curb and then causing the Taurus to flip over," Harris explained.

The rolling confrontation began miles outside of town, on SR 7. Wright said the Taurus passed her in an intersection and she honked the horn to avoid an accident.

As both cars moved up the highway at 55 miles per hour, Wynn slammed on his brakes several times while the students drove behind him.

"What they believe was an effort to have them crash," Harris said.

But investigators say Wynn told them a different story.

"He acknowledged hitting his brakes," Harris explained. "He said the high school students were following too closely."

At the intersection where the accident occurred, Wynn told police he couldn't stop.

"Something, he felt, went under the brake pedal, which prevented him from applying the brakes," Harris said.

Witnesses backed up the teen's story. One told police Wynn was driving recklessly and that the accident appeared very intentional.

Wright, a senior at the high school, returned to classes Friday. Her doctor told her to take it easy and not to go to work.

"I am a little sore, but it could be a lot worse. I am really thankful that everyone is okay," she said. "That we are going to learn from this experience and move on. I just want him to get what he deserves."

No one answered the door at Wynn’s home in North Vernon Friday. Police cited him for reckless driving and aggressive driving. They will forward the results of their investigation the Bartholomew County prosecutor to determine if criminal charges are warranted.