MARTIN COUNTY- A Fourth of July Crash north of Loogootee took the life of an Odon man, injured four children, and resulted in a driver going to jail on numerous felony charges.
Indiana State police say shortly after 2:30 Monday afternoon, Jessica Bechtel of Odon was traveling southbound on US 231 near County Road 700 North five miles north of Loogootee, when police say her SUV crossed the center line and drove into oncoming traffic.
Meanwhile Terry Tapp of Martinsville told police he was headed northbound on 231 and noticed Bechtel’s vehicle headed towards him. Police say both drivers swerved in an attempt to avoid the crash; Bechtel was able to avoid colliding with Tapp’s vehicle but instead struck the camper trailer he was pulling.
State Police say as a result of the crash, debris from the trailer was thrown through the front passenger side window of the Bechtel’s vehicle and struck the front seat passenger, Tyson Willkie of Odon.
Willkie was pronounced dead at the scene by the Martin County Coroner. Four children inside the Dodge were also injured. Shaylee Bechtel of Odon was transported to Daviess County Hospital in Washington and later transferred to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville. The other three children were treated and released to family at the scene.
Police say during their investigation, troopers found that Bechtel had operated her vehicle with amounts of methamphetamine, amphetamine, and other illegal substances were in her blood system.
She was arrested and lodged, without incident, in the Martin County Jail.
Authorities closed US 231 for approximately two hours while the crash was investigated.
State Police were assisted by the Loogootee Police Department, the Martin and Daviess County Sheriff’s Departments, Indiana Conservation Officers, Martin County and Southwest EMS, and the Loogootee Fire Department.