ATV Accident Claims Life Of Harvey Toddler, Two Others
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INDIANAPOLIS (CBS/AP) — A toddler from the south suburbs was among three people who died this weekend when a crowded off-road vehicle slammed into a concrete wall and burst into flames along a rural western Indiana road.
Indiana Conservation officers on Monday identified the victims as Andrea Allen, 22, of Indianapolis; her 1-year-old son, Jaylen Rawls, of Harvey, Ill.; and 2-year-old Nevaeh Dempsey, a friend’s daughter from Indianapolis.
Another toddler survived but was severely injured in Sunday’s crash near the town of Center Point, about 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis.
Allen’s other son, 2-year-old Xavier Rawls of Harvey, Ill., was in stable condition at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
When Franklin Davis Jr. saw the flames from the burning ATV as he was just ending his day of fishing southwest of Indianapolis.
Davis came along and pulled the woman from the wreckage and Xavier Rawls.
“The wreckage was slipping toward the child from the angle it was on in the embankment. And that’s when I knew I had to get down there then and try to get the child. So I just went for it and I was able to drag him by the leg,” said Davis.
Another child, who died, Davis couldn’t see in the wrecked ATV. A third child he could see, but could not reach.
“Yeah, I know. I saved that kid (Xavier Rawls) but I couldn’t do nothing for the one that burned,” said Davis.
Eyewitnesses told police the 17-year-old vehicle came out of a driveway and was speeding recklessly when it crashed into the end of a concrete culvert and caught fire.
State Conservation Officer Lt. William Browne said witnesses told investigators the three toddlers were riding in front of Allen, who was driving the single-seat off-road vehicle.
Browne said he wasn’t aware of any state law limiting the number of passengers on an off-road vehicle, but “going that speed down the road definitely violates that.”
Browne said investigators did not yet know how fast the vehicle was going before the crash, and that they were still trying to determine whether excessive speed or alcohol played a role.
The boy and girl died at the scene and Allen was flown to an Indianapolis hospital, where she died, the Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.
A man who was fishing nearby pulled Allen and Xavier from the burning wreckage, the agency said.
Browne said autopsies on the children were scheduled for Monday afternoon.
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