Officers responded to an accident site last Thursday, October 25 to find a baby had been struck by a pickup truck in the Dabney area (4722 W. Hopewell Road).
CPR was in progress on Adrik Kei Hanaway, 14 months old of North Vernon, who was lying in the middle of the road when officers arrived.
Police say that he had been playing with his brother and sister in the yard and were unsure why he was in the road.
Jonathon Phillips, 19, of Holton, told officers he was driving his 1992 Ford Ranger pickup truck heading westbound on Hopewell Road and had been texting before the accident.
Phillips told police he looked down to set his cell phone down and that's when he hit something in the road. He said he thought he struck an animal and turned around to see what he had hit. It was then the teenager realized he had struck a child.
Officers say that Phillips was very distraught, but cooperated with investigators completely. Police say drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the accident.
The baby was taken by Rescue 69 personnel and the Ripley County Medic to Jennings County Hospital. From there he was flown by PHI to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis where he died from injuries received in the accident.
Adrik was described as a "happy, smiling boy." His mother told the media it was almost more than she could bear, saying she had already lost another son, Jayren. She told parents to hold their kids a little tighter.
Jedidiah and Alicia Hanaway, who are from North Vernon, noted they were at the home of a relative in Dabney helping to seal windows before the winter months. No one knows exactly why the child was unrestrained, as the mother told that she had buckled him into his car seat as they were almost ready to leave. She told media that she believed one of the children unbuckled the baby and that's how he got out.
The Hanaways say they feel if Phillips hadn't been texting the outcome might have been different.
According to Sheriff Tom Grills, "Law enforcement cannot reiterate enough that driving a vehicle requires all of the driver's attention." He went on to say, "Communication devices, radios, reading material, and applying make up, to name a few, are all things officers observe on the roadways that distracts drivers and leads to tragedies such as this."
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 31 at Vernon Cemetery. The family is asking that memorials be made through Sawyer-Pickett Funeral & Cremation Service at PO Box 112, North Vernon, IN 47265 and will go to the family to help with costs at this time.
Grandparents of Adrik include Jim and Alma Hanaway of Queensville; Tom and Shirley Tyler (formerly of Holton) North Vernon; Leah Lopez, Columbus; Bill Brinson, North Vernon; Darrel & Pamela Simpson, Versailles, and Penny Wood, Madison.
Survivors also include a sister, Novalee and brother, Darius.
The accident is still under investigation by the Ripley County Sheriff's Office. They were assisted at the sceen by Osgood, Holton, and Versailles police departments, Indiana State Police, Holton Fire, Rescue 69 and Ripley County Medic.
Sheriff Grills told the Osgood Journal when the investigation is complete it will be forwarded to the prosecutor's office for review for any charges that might be filed.
Adrik Kei Hanaway