Authorities say a passenger in a pickup truck was seriously injured after he was ejected when the driver became distracted by a cell phone call and crashed into a tree.
Around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding responded to the 8100 block of Darmstadt Road near Mohr Road in reference to a motor vehicle crash involving an ejected occupant.
According to authorities, evidence at the scene as well as witness and driver statements indicated that a white 2001 Ford Ranger pick-up truck being driven by 21 year old Michael Luckett, of Evansville, IN, had been driving north on Darmstadt Road when he reportedly became distracted by an an incoming cell phone call and took his eyes off of the road to find the phone. Luckett’s pickup truck reportedly exited the road and crashed into a tree.
During the crash, police say Luckett’s passenger, 24 year old Tyler Riney of Evansville, IN who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected. According to VCSO, when Riney was ejected he became trapped underneath the truck, which had rolled over on him during the crash. Authorities say bystanders pushed the truck off of Riney in order to free him. Riney was later transported by ambulance to the hospital with serious bodily injuries. The report indicates Luckett was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.
Pursuant to state law regarding crashes involving serious bodily injury or death, Police say Luckett’s consented to a post-accident blood draw. The investigation will reportedly remain open pending toxicology results from the State Department of Toxicology.
The Sheriff’s Office states 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.