SUBJECT: Cell Phone Distraction Crash Results in Serious Injuries to Ejected Passenger
RELEASE NUMBER: 2016-NR-059
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding
On Saturday, August 06, 2016 at 12:27pm the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 8100 block of Darmstadt Road near Mohr Road in reference to a motor vehicle crash involving an ejected occupant.
Evidence observed at the scene as well as witness and driver statements indicated that a white 2001 Ford Ranger pick-up truck being driven by Mr. Michael Luckett had been traveling north on Darmstadt Road prior to leaving the roadway and striking a tree. Mr. Luckett had reportedly become distracted by an incoming cell phone call and took his eyes off the road to locate the device. The collision ejected the passenger, Mr. Tyler Riney, who was not wearing a seatbelt. Mr. Luckett was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.
Mr. Riney was trapped underneath the truck, which had rolled over on to him during the crash. Bystanders pushed the truck off of Mr. Riney in order to free him. Mr. Riney was later transported by ambulance to the hospital with serious bodily injuries.
Pursuant to state law regarding crashes involving serious bodily injury or death, Mr. Luckett consented to a post-accident blood draw. The investigation will remain open pending toxicology results from the State Department of Toxicology.
While texting and driving is against the law in Indiana, the use of a cellular device to make phone call while operating a motor vehicle is still legal.
Michael Luckett, 21, of Evansville.
Tyler Riney, 24, of Evansville.
Pictured above: Crash scene on Darmstadt Road near Mohr Road.