A relative of two young cousins who died after a tragic accident on Interstate 65 said they were inseparable — two peas in a pod — who did everything together.
“Maybe it’s God’s way of saying they needed to be together,” Richanda Hahn said of 6-year-old Addyson Engle of Seymour and her 11-year-old cousin, Keghan McCrory-Engle, of nearby Hayden.
The two died when the SUV that Hahn’s mother, Kathy Scroggins of Commiskey, was driving struck the back of a stopped semitrailer Thursday.
Grieving family members and friends were at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Friday keeping watch over the 55-year-old Scroggins, who was listed in critical condition from severe head trauma.
They also were watching over Trista Engle, Addyson Engle’s mother. The Seymour woman was hospitalized at St. Vincent Women’s Hospital in Indianapolis in the days before the accident to prevent pre-term labor.
Scroggins had taken the two cousins and another child, Bryannah Reynolds, 6, in her SUV to Indianapolis to see Trista Engle, family members said. They were on their way home to Jennings County when the accident happened about 5 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-65 on the bridge over the Driftwood River, just before the State Road 46 exit at Columbus.
Addyson and Bryannah also were close friends who shared a love for music and art, said Jill McIntosh-King of North Vernon.
McIntosh-King owns and operates a music and art center in downtown Seymour called IMPROV. The girls were frequent visitors to IMPROV, sharing their love of music and art with each other and anyone else who happened to be there.
“They were like sisters,” said McIntosh-King, a special education teacher and musician. “(Addyson) was very kind and loving to Bry, her best friend. She looked out for Bry. The joy they found in music, art and in people is beautiful.”
Addyson was a fun, energetic and smart kid, McIntosh-King said.
“She loved singing, painting and beating on the drums and was always smiling and laughing,” McIntosh-King said. “I always told her she would take my place in music someday.”
Addyson was known for talking about her family and school, too, McIntosh-King said.
“She loved her family very much and she loved kindergarten,” McIntosh-King said. “My life will forever by changed because of her and Bry.”
Addyson had just finished kindergarten at Graham Creek Elementary School near Commiskey and had been planting tomatoes in the garden Thursday morning before heading to Indianapolis to see her mother, Hahn said.
She described Addyson as an intelligent, doting caretaker for her great-grandparents, who loved to read. Addyson was learning how to crochet and how to play piano but also liked to ride go-karts with Keghan McCrory-Engle.
“He took care of Addyson,” she said of Keghan, who was a standout wrestler for Hayden Elementary School. He lived with his father in western Jennings County.
Keghan liked dirt track racing and go-karts and also spent quality time with his grandparents, Hahn said.
And one thing you needed to know about Keghan was that he was all about shoes, she said. If you asked Keghan what he wanted for a gift, it would always be shoes, Hahn said.
The children were among three people killed in two separate but related accidents on southbound I-65 Thursday afternoon. A motorcyclist died in a wreck about an hour before the one that left the cousins dead.
Bryannah, who was a front-seat passenger in the vehicle, was listed in fair condition at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Ford said.
Scroggins, who operates a care facility and nursing home in Commiskey, is a caretaker for Bryannah, who lives at the facility.
Keghan’s parents are Britney Engle of Seymour and Jed McCory, relatives said.
Trista Engle, 25, who is 31½ weeks pregnant, is hospitalized with pre-eclampsia, according to her mother, Patty Engle. Obstetricians say the pregnancy condition that causes convulsions also result in serious complications that could threaten both mother and unborn child.
During Trista Engle’s hospitalization, Kathy Scroggins had been taking care of Addyson and Keghan, according to her husband, Richard Scroggins.
He described the relationship he and his wife established with Bryannah as that of grandparents and grandchild.
Voss and Sons Funeral Home in Seymour is handling arrangements for the two children, family representatives said. Arrangements are pending, the funeral home said.