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Coroner: Teen’s death was accident

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The Marion County Coroner’s office said the Oct. 5 death of a teen who jumped from her family’s van north of Seymour was an accident.

Laikyn Victoria Field, 16, of North Vernon, died of blunt force trauma after jumping from a moving vehicle and hitting her head on pavement in an incident north of Seymour, according to the report.

No charges are anticipated, Detective Bob Lucas of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday.

Field had been riding in a 2008 Dodge Caravan driven by her stepfather, Jason Bowerly, in the 600 block of Enos Road (County Road 700 North), east of State Road 11, at the time of the incident.

She was taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour with head injuries before being flown to Indiana University Methodist Hospital Indianapolis where she died later that night.

Lucas, a crime scene investigator, said the Marion County Coroner’s Office released its findings of an autopsy on Field and determined she had multiple skull fractures and a hemorrhage to the brain.

That office listed her cause of death as accidental, and toxicology results were negative, Lucas said.

“I have found nothing to suggest any foul play,” Lucas said. “I think it was just an unfortunate tragedy.”

Lucas said he relied on the reports of witnesses and the findings of the Marion County Coroner’s office to make his decisions about the investigation.

“If they would have found anything suspicious they would have called me to come up,” Lucas said of the coroner’s office.

Lucas said an eyewitness following Bowerly’s van said it was traveling about 30 miles per hour when the witness saw the van door open and the 16-year-old jump out.

Fields’ mother, Kandle Bowerly, was a front seat passenger at the time of the incident, Lucas said.

The three had just watched the Oktoberfest parade with family members in Seymour and were returning home at the time of the incident, Lucas said.

Trooper Matthew H. Holley, a crash scene reconstructionist, said his findings showed the van was traveling about 25 to 30 mph at the time Field left the van, Lucas said.

He said he plans to forward the case to the office of Jackson County Prosecutor Amy Marie Travis for review, but he is requesting no criminal charges.

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