Related crashes claim 3 lives

By Staff Reports

A Seymour girl and her cousin were among three people killed in two separate but related accidents on southbound Interstate 65.

The wreck Thursday afternoon that led to the deaths of Addyson Engle, 6, and Keghan McCrory-Engle, 11, of Hayden, began with a motorcycle accident that occurred earlier about four miles south of Columbus.

Motorcycle driver Hunter D. Patton, 58 of Dupont, died at the scene of that wreck, according to Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher.

Witnesses told investigators the motorcycle Patton and his wife, Kathlene, 55, were riding south on the interstate began to shake and then veered into the median.

The 1998 Harley-Davidson’s front tire struck a hole, and the motorcycle went airborne, ejecting Kathlene Patton but coming down on top of Hunter Patton, Fisher said.

Kathlene Patton was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital after the accident, but a condition report was not available Friday, hospital officials said.

The crash that led to the deaths of the young cousins occurred as traffic was stopped for the motorcycle wreck, police report.

The two were backseat passengers in a 2014 Chevrolet Equinox driven by their aunt, Kathy Scroggins, 55, of Commiskey, traveling south toward their homes.

While estimated speeds have not been released, the SUV struck the rear of a stopped semitrailer so forcefully that the vehicle was wedged under the trailer, Columbus Police Department spokesman Sgt. Matt Harris said.

The semi driver, James Turner, 61, of Tennessee, was not injured, Harris said.

First responders worked two hours to free Scroggins, who was hospitalized at Indianapolis, Harris said. A front-seat passenger in the vehicle, Bryannah Reynolds, 6, of Commiskey, was hospitalized at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. She was listed in fair condition, officials said.

Accident reconstructionists from the Indiana State Police and Columbus Police Department are continuing their investigations into how the accident transpired.