Witness claims teen driver was drunk, showed little remorse

HealthVehiclesAaron Jackson


An eyewitness tells Fox59 16-year-old Austin Gorman was drinking before he careened off dangerous Goose Road head on into a tree at 4am Thursday in Rush County. While he walked away, all four of his passengers, 18-year-old Phillip Jackson, his brother 16-year-old Aaron Jackson, 18-year-old Jamie Bush, and 16-year-old Austin Spradlin, were listed in serious to critical condition at local hospitals. Three of them were airlifted to Methodist. The kids in the car are students at Knightstown High school. 18-year-old Jamie Bush is a Knightstown graduate. She is at Wishard in a medically induced coma. It's now Gorman, the driver, under suspicion after leaving the crash scene while one of the teens ejected was pinned under the mangled car.

"He(Gorman) walked all the way through Carthage to one of my friend's house where I was at and left," said Jon Jackson, 18, who drove up on the crash. "He walked past so many houses he could have stopped at and asked for help. He said he left the scene to go get help but he walked all the way to the friend's house, asked for mouth wash, and told my friend he'd been drinking. When he got (back to the scene) he didn't really seem like he really cared, but then he started crying and as soon as Aaron and Phillips mom got there he seemed like he showed remorse, but when he first got there he didn't. He was like he didn't want to get in trouble for it."

Rush County Sheriff's detectives initially said they didn't suspect alcohol but now say they're aware of the allegations. Gorman, who just got his drivers license in April, got his red Dodge Neon a few months ago. Fox59 spoke with his grandmother who was told her grandson had swerved to miss a raccoon.

"It was Austin's car and it was Fall break, said Emily Gorman, Austin's grandmother. "I don't think they were joyriding none of them drank or did drugs."

But eyewitnesses tell a different story. Jackson tells Fox59 Gorman and two of the other teens in the car had been drinking together prior to the drive down Goose Road.

18-year-old Jamie Bush, was in the middle of the back seat. She has two broken legs, a shattered pelvis, dislocated shoulder, a broken arm and extensive injuries to the left side of her body. Her father a volunteer firefighter rushed to the scene and used the jaws of life to extricate his own daughter and the remaining two other teens from the car. He told Fox59 his daughter could hardly speak at the scene but whispered "I love you" to her Dad. He has spoken to her at her hospital bed.

"I can't wait. I want to talk to her now. I talked to her a while ago. I don't know she heard me, but there was no reply," said Johnathan Bush.

Jamie was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and then taken to Wishard. She underwent surgery Monday and remains in critical condition. Her father told Fox59 Jamie went downhill in the ambulance but made it to the hospital.

"They were probably out trying to have fun and were messing around, it's dangerous," said Charlie Cox, a senior at Knightstown. It's pretty bad. I always exercise safe driving."


The accident happened at 4 a.m. and involved one vehicle. The car apparently left the road and hit a tree on the passenger side. One teen was ejected and pinned under the car.

There were five teens in the car, four of them were critically injured. Three were flown to Indianapolis hospitals and the other two were transported to Hancock Memorial Hospital and Rush County Memorial Hospital.

The male driver was alert and talking to investigators following the crash. All five are believed to be students from the Charles A. Beard School District (Knightstown High School). The district is currently on fall break this week.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. At this time alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

The teenagers involved in the crash have been identified as 16-year-old Perry Austin Gorman (driver), 16-year-old Austin Spradlin, 18-year-old Phillip Jackson, 16-year-old Aaron Jackson and 18-year-old Jamie Bush.


Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times