DECATUR COUNTY, Ind. — A Central Indiana teenager has been detained by authorities in Decatur County after police say he and another minor threw a rock through the windshield of a FedEx semi driving on I-74, knocking the driver unconscious and causing a crash.
The initial incident occurred at 2:55 a.m. on April 23 near the 127-mile marker of westbound Interstate 74 in Decatur County, according to the county sheriff’s department. Deputies were called shortly after for a single-vehicle crash involving a lone semi-truck.
Upon arrival, DCSD deputies found a FedEx semi alone in the middle of a median. The driver of the semi, later identified as Travis Hampton, was semi-conscious and had significant injuries to his head.
Sheriff Bill Meyerrose said investigators found a roughly 3-pound rock in the cab of the semi.
At the time of the incident, the Sheriff said that Hampton could have easily died and that what could appear to be a prank is no laughing matter.
“If it is juveniles ‘having fun,’ that’s not the fun that we appreciate here,” Meyerrose said.
The sheriff also said that video evidence clearly showed the rock was intentionally thrown through the windshield and that it was just a matter of determining who was responsible.
“Due to the time of day and the location of the crash, we had very little information as to how the rock was thrown through the window,” Meyerrose said in a release Thursday. “However, we were able to quickly determine that this was not an accident, but an intentional criminal act.”
Meyerrose said his deputies received numerous tips from the public about the incident and were then able to identify two minors that were involved. Eventually, a 16-year-old male accused of being responsible was detained. Meyerrose also said there is no further danger to the public.
Hampton recounted the harrowing experience to FOX59/CBS4’s Max Lewis.
“The only thing I remember is waking up in the ambulance truck with them asking me questions,” Hampton said.
The semi-driver was flown to St. Vincent’s Hospital due to the extent of his injuries.
“I have three broken or fractured bones under my eye and I had to get a little over 27 stitches in my lip top and bottom,” Hampton said.
While further examining the semi, DCSD said deputies found Hampton’s 9-year-old daughter in the semi who was thankfully unharmed. In the release sent Thursday, the Sheriff acknowledged that although the daughter was “extremely afraid” she was brave enough to react to the incident and call 911.
Also in the release, Sheriff Meyerrose reiterated that his department believes no further threats are out there.
“I want to stress we believe that the public traveling on I-74 has no reason to feat that another event such as this will re-occur.”Decatur Co. Sheriff Bill Meyerrose
However, Hampton said in April that he doesn’t know if he will ever drive again and that he has questions for the juvenile responsible.
“I would ask why of course,” Hampton said. “What was the reason? What are they getting out of trying to take someone else’s life?”