2-vehicle incident kills 17-year-old

A teen who died in a car crash Sunday afternoon east of Brownstown was in the midst of a project to build a shelter house for students at his school.

The shelter house being designed by Aaron Greathouse, 17, of Columbus, will be finished, said Robin Cummings, a teacher at the Jackson County Learning Center in Seymour.

Greathouse, who had been living in Seymour until recently, was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck on County Road 25N near the Lake and Forest Club, Jackson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Stan Darlage said. Greathouse was driving a 1987 Nissan Maxima east on County Road 25N when the wreck occurred.

The wreck was reported at 3:15 p.m. in the 2100 block of that road and also involved a 2004 Nissan Maxima, driven by Caleb P. Cartmel, 21, of Westfield.

Darlage said the second vehicle caught fire. The driver was thrown from the vehicle, but his passenger, Ian T. Cartmel, 17, of Westfield, was trapped and pulled out by witnesses, Darlage said.

The Cartmels were both flown to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with unspecified injuries. On Monday morning, Caleb Cartmel was listed in serious condition, and Ian Cartmel was listed in stable condition.

Cummings said Greathouse had attended the center for two years and was on track to graduate next spring. Those attending the center are Seymour High School students.

“He had completed his courses early and was working half-day and attending school to finish his work for the math qualification exam,” she said.

Greathouse had drawn up the plans for a shelter house at the center for students, even putting together graphing and 3-D images of the project. It was ready to go out for bid when money could be raised, Cummings said. She added she will apply for grants to build the shelter house.

“He was very kind and always thought of others, and I appreciate that,” she said. “A sweet, sweet boy.”

Greathouse worked at Rails Craft Brew & Eatery in downtown Seymour.

“He was on his way to work,” said David Lawrence, who owns Rails.

“He was a great kid who always worked extra if we asked him to,” Lawrence said. “Everybody here was his friend. It was a terrible loss for us. A 17-year-old taken way too soon.”

Lawrence said Greathouse was well liked and one of the best workers he had.

Darlage was assisted at the scene by county crime scene technician Bob Lucas, county officers Dustin Steward and Adam Nicholson, county reserve officers Greg Murphy and Eric Browalski, Brownstown Police Cpl. Joe Kelly and personnel with Brownstown Volunteer Fire Department and Jackson County Emergency Medical Services.

Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.