GREENWOOD — One Center Grove High School student died and another was critically injured in a single-vehicle crash Thursday night, according to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Duane Burgess said the passenger in the vehicle, Austin James Norris, 16, of Greenwood, died at the scene. Medics transported the driver, Hunter Wylie Riffle, 16, to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition.
Center Grove High School Principal Dr. Jeffry Henderson wrote in a message to families that counselors will be available Friday in the school’s guidance office and that members of the local ministerial association will be at school for those who want to speak with a member of the clergy.
“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of these young people during this very difficult time,” Henderson wrote.
A GoFundMe account has been set up in memory of Norris to support his family.
The crash happened around 7:10 p.m. in the 1600 block of South Paddock Road when a 2004 Volkswagen GTI hatchback driven by one of the teens collided with a tree on the west side of the road, Burgess said.
The White River Fire Department extricated with Norris and Riffle from the vehicle.
Burgess said witnesses told deputies they saw the Volkswagen traveling southbound on Paddock Road at a high rate of speed. The crash remains under investigation by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone who witnessed the crash or saw the Volkswagen with license plate LW1183 prior to the crash is asked to contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 317-346-4615.
Burgess said deputies are looking to speak with the driver of a smaller-style light-colored gray SUV with a luggage container on top who may have seen the Volkswagen before to the crash.