Police: 6-year-old girl dies after Muncie man punches girlfriend, crashes van
UPDATE (Sept. 30, 2019) — Jessica Skeens was sentenced to 41 years.
UPDATE (Aug. 16, 2019) — Jessica Skeens was found guilty of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, operating a vehicle with a controlled substance, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, neglect of a dependent, and possession of marijuana.
MUNCIE,Ind.–Indiana State Police arrested a Muncie man following a crash Sunday that claimed the life of a 6-year-old girl.
Shortly after 4:30 p.m. emergency crews were called to a one vehicle crash with ejection on northbound State Road 67, just north of Meeker Avenue.
Investigators say the driver, Jessica Skeens, 28, of Farmland, was driving a van with her boyfriend, Nathaniel Jordan, 27, of Muncie. Two of Skeens’ children were in the middle seat in child restraint seats. Two other children were in the rear seat without child restraint seats.
According to police, Skeens and Jordan were arguing when Jordan punched Skeens and grabbed the steering wheel, causing her to lose control of the van.
The van reportedly left the roadway, rolling over into a ditch and coming to rest on its wheels.
Skeens’ 6-year-old daughter Taelyn Woodson was in the back seat, and she was partially ejected out of a window. She died from her injuries.
The three other children were transported to IU Health’s Ball Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Skeens was treated for a broken arm. Jordan was treated for minor injuries.
Indiana State Police troopers arrested Jordan on charges of neglect of a dependent causing death, felony criminal recklessness and domestic battery. Jordan was taken to the Delaware County Jail. Investigators say further charges are possible as they continue to review the accident investigation.
Investigators believe alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash, along with improper use of child restraints and seat belts.