VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — A house party. High speeds. Standing water.
A crash report from the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department detailed a series of events that led to a crash that killed three Indiana State University students, including a Fort Wayne native, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The report from Deputy Bernie McGee said authorities were called just after 1:30 a.m. to the area of S.R. 46 and Main Street in Riley, 8 miles southeast of the ISU campus, on a report of a “vehicle fire with entrapment,” amid “heavy rain with thunderstorms and 3-4 inches of standing water.”
At the scene, police found a grey Toyota Camry ablaze, crashed into a tree, with three people still inside and two others laying in the grass nearby. The driver – Christian Eubanks – as well as two passengers – Caleb Vanhooser and Jayden Musili – were pronounced dead at the scene.
The other passengers – John Moore and Omarian Dixon – were hospitalized but have since been released from intensive care units, though they remain in serious condition.
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Moore spoke with investigators at the scene and at the hospital. According to the report, Moore said they were all coming back to campus from a house party in Bloomington, some 50 miles away. He said they’d all been drinking.
Moore said they were traveling at speeds of 90 mph at the time of the crash, the report said.
At the scene, police noted there was some 4 inches of standing water and tire marks were invisible. Police were not able to find any “roadway evidence,” the report said.
A witness to the crash told investigators he was headed east on S.R. 46 in “downpouring rain” and lightning when he heard a “loud noise and then saw a ‘very bright flash that seemed fake,'” the report said. He came around a corner and saw a vehicle had crashed into a tree and was on fire, the report said.
The witness – Lucas Bishop – told police he pulled one victim from the car, and asked another driver to help him with another occupant. Bishop said a second victim was “hanging out of the car” and they were able to pull him away.
Bishop said he thought everyone was out of the car but then he heard “lots of screaming,” and realized “there were more people in the car,” the report said.
Musili was a 2021 graduate of Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne. Eubanks, an 18-year-old from Waukegan, Ill., and VanHoose, 19, of Liberty Township, Ohio, both played for the Indiana State football team.