4 teens killed while pushing stalled SUV to slumber party
CORTLAND, Ind. (WJBK) - Four teens were tragically killed over the weekend in Indiana while they were away from home at a birthday party sleepover.
The teens were helping push their friend's mom's SUV to the house after it had stalled, when someone hit them all from behind. Four other teens were hurt.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says the teens were pushing the car after it broke down on Indiana 258 around 11 p.m. Saturday in the rural community of Cortland, which is about 50 miles south of Indianapolis.
Officials say a 24-year-old woman also driving an SUV crashed into them. The Tribune reports the crash happened less than a block away from the home. Officials said the 24-year-old driver was not injured and is not yet facing any charges. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Authorities have identified those killed as: 14-year-olds Neveah Law and Jenna Helton; 15-year-old Brittany Watson; and 16-year-old Martin Martinez. The Tribune reports the girls were pronounced dead at the scene, and that Martinez was flown to a nearby hospital where he later died.
The sheriff's department says three of the survivors were flown to hospitals in Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky, and another was treated at a local hospital.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Carothers told The Tribune the crash was not like any other he had handled.
"I'm really saddened by this," he told the paper.
Vigils and counseling have been set up at the high schools where the teens attended.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report