A Seymour woman who failed to return home from a trip to Pennsylvania was found dead Tuesday evening in a wrecked vehicle in Jennings County near the Ripley County line.
Police said they believe Nikki K. Hobbs Reed, 37, died instantly when the blue 1999 Ford Explorer driven by her boyfriend, Kevin Bell, 39, of Dover, Pennsylvania, left the road in the 8600 block of East U.S. 50 and went down an embankment before hitting a tree head-on, according to a report from the Indiana State Police.
Bell, who sustained leg injuries and wasn’t able to leave the vehicle for three days, crawled back to U.S. 50, police said. He was found about 5 p.m. Tuesday was treated and taken to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
The vehicle’s location was well off the roadway and not visible from the road, according to Trooper Jordan Craig’s report.
Reed’s family had reported her missing Sunday after the mother of three failed to return from a trip to pick up Bell. His family also reported they had not been able to contact him since Saturday.
The investigation into their disappearance was begun by Craig on Sunday when family members reported Reed missing. They told police that Reed had made a trip to Pennsylvania to pick up her boyfriend, and she was last heard from Saturday while driving back to Indiana with Bell.
Police said they believe at some point Saturday afternoon, Bell lost control of the sport utility vehicle and ran off the road in the 8600 block of East U.S. 50.
At this time, it appears Reed, who was in the front passenger seat, sustained fatal injuries in the crash and died instantly.
Due to Bell’s injuries to his legs, he wasn’t able to leave the vehicle and crawl back to the road until Tuesday evening.
A youcaring.com fundraising account has been set up to raise money for funeral expenses.
Trooper Rick Hewitt is conducting the crash investigation, and he and Craig were assisted by other troopers with the Indiana State Police, officers with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department and personnel with Jennings County Fire, Jennings County EMS and the Jennings County Coroner’s Office.