Two teens remain hospitalized following fatal wreck, three others released from hospital


Two of the five injured teenagers that were hurt in a fatal crash late Saturday night in Cortland remain hospitalized.

Allerika Henline, 15, of Brownstown remains at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, and Victoria Valdivia, 15, of Seymour remains at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Valdivia is being treated for a broken leg and ankle, her mother, Cara Selby, said Monday morning.

Henline was listed in fair condition, according to a spokesperson at the hospital Monday.

Her father, Joseph Henline, said she has a broken ankle, three breaks in her jaw, road rash and multiple scrapes and cuts.

“No internal injuries were found, so she was extremely lucky,” he said Monday.

He said Allerika is expected to have reconstructive surgery for her jaw today if the swelling subsides enough.

Courtney Arthur, 14, of Seymour was airlifted to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, where she was treated for injuries and later released, her mother, Chelsey Arthur, said Monday.

She said her daughter had severe bruising on her arms and back and head and neck contusions.

Starlit Watson, 12, of Brownstown and Victoria Burchard, 15, of Medora were both treated and released from Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, according to a news release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

The wreck claimed the lives of Jenna Helton, 14; Brittany Watson, 15; Nevaeh Law, 14; and Martin Martinez, 16, late Saturday after the Chevrolet Suburban they were pushing on State Road 258 was rear-ended by Elizabeth Watson. Law and Watson were students at Brownstown Central High School, while Helton and Martinez were students at Seymour High School.

Sheriff Mike Carothers said Tuesday police continue to investigate the incident and are in the process of obtaining search warrants for data from cellphones belonging to the victims and drivers.

Carothers said a preliminary blood test showed Elizabeth Watson, the driver of the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse that hit the group, was not under the influence of any substance. Watson, 24, who was not related to Brittany or Starlit, recently moved to Seymour from the Georgetown area.

Carothers said police are waiting for confirmation of the result of that test from the Indiana State Police.

Police also are obtaining a search warrant for Watson’s sport utility vehicle to determine how fast she was driving at the time of the wreck, Carothers said.

He said he would meet with investigators to determine if any charges should be requested.

A prayer vigil was conducted Sunday evening in the parking lot at Seymour High School, where hundreds gathered to prayer for and remember the victims. Other events and fundraisers have been planned this week and are listed in today’s Tribune.

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