Teen dies in accident; driver didn't have license - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Teen dies in accident; driver didn't have license

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A car crashed into the White River Wednesday night, killing a teenage passenger inside -- and police say the driver had no business being behind the wheel.

Tyler Ross is expected to face a judge in the next few days, but for now, he's in the Jackson County Jail.

Wednesday night, Larry Burdine lost his niece, 17-year-old Brooke Hawn, in a fatal crash on County Road 250 East, near Brownstown, Ind.

"I just live right up here, and I never would have thought the river took part of my family, but it has," he said.

Burdine said his niece was in the car with two male friends -- one of them, 18-year-old Tyler Ross.

"I guess she went and picked them up, and he wanted to drive, and she let him drive, and this is what happened," Burdine said.

He can't understand why she let Ross behind the wheel.

"He did not have no license whatsoever, never did have 'em, and he was driving," said Burdine.

Police say the teens may have been playing around.

"In a roundabout way, it's still under investigation," said Officer Jeffrey Walters of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. "But that was one of the comments."

Preliminary reports indicate the crash happened because of reckless driving.

Coroner Roger Wheeler said Hawn drowned and showed signs of trauma and hypothermia.

"The two boys got out, but they said they had to crawl over her body to get out. And the police says she was not pinned in. So why did they not try to get her out?"

Burdine said his niece's body was under water for over an hour -- but they don't believe she suffered.

"She was dead before they hit the water, because they said she didn't have any water in her lungs whatsoever," Burdine said.

The coroner hasn't released an official cause of death.

Ross is charged with reckless driving and operating a vehicle without a license. He is being held on a $10,005 bond.

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