indiana State Police said the drivers of two vehicles involved in an August crash that led to the death of a Greenfield woman have been arrested.
Ashlea Albertson, 24, Greenfield, died in the crash on Aug. 18 on I-65 near the 48-mile-marker, state police said.
The investigation by the Indiana State Police-Versailles Crash Reconstruction Team indicated that a black 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, being driven by Austin Cooper, 22, an Austin, Indiana resident at the time of the crash, was traveling northbound in the right lane of I-65 near the 48-mile marker. A white 2018 GMC Terrain, being driven by Jacob Kelly, 31, Indianapolis, was traveling northbound in the left lane of I-65 at the same location. Evidence from the scene, including video footage captured by another vehicle, indicated that the two drivers began accelerating rapidly and refused to allow the other vehicle to pass, state police said.
Cooper’s vehicle then began to change lanes into the path of Kelly’s vehicle. Jacob Kelly lost control of his vehicle and spun, which resulted in the two vehicles colliding in the middle of the northbound lanes. Kelly’s vehicle rolled, which resulted in his female passenger, Albertson, to be ejected from the vehicle. Cooper’s vehicle left the east side of the roadway and came to rest in a field.
Kelly and Albertson were both flown from the scene to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. After arriving at the hospital, Albertson was pronounced deceased. Kelly was treated for injuries and later released from the hospital. Cooper and a juvenile passenger were transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, where they were both treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later released.
The post-crash investigation determined that the vehicles were traveling next to each other when both drivers accelerated to speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour at the time of the crash, state police said. Toxicology results were obtained on both drivers after the crash. The results of those tests indicated that Austin Cooper had THC in his system when the crash occurred.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the case was presented to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review. As a result, Austin Cooper was charged with causing death when operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance, a Level 4 felony, and reckless homicide, Level 5 felony. Jacob Kelly was charged with reckless homicide, Level 5 felony.
On Monday, Jacob Kelly was arrested without incident in Indianapolis. On Tuesday, , Austin Cooper, now a Morganfield, Kentucky resident, turned himself in at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown.
Both individuals will soon have initial appearances in the Jackson County Circuit Court, state police said.