The operator of the ORV was Quentin Smith, age 25, of Lafayette. The passenger was Derek Hufford, age 25, of Lafayette.
Conservation Officers remind the public of the importance of wearing a helmet and other safety equipment when riding an ORV and the dangers of operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Cutler, IN- Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating an off-road vehicle (ORV) accident that resulted in the death of a passenger.
This morning at approximately 1:20 a.m., Carroll County emergency dispatch received a 911 call of an ORV accident involving injury in the 5000 block South on 100 West. Conservation Officers and other first responders located the passenger of the machine on the ground and unresponsive.
The operator of the side by side ORV told officers he was traveling northbound on County Road 100 W when he attempted to turn into a driveway, missed the driveway, and crossed over a drainage ditch. The operator then lost control and the machine began to roll, ejecting the passenger.
Neither occupant was wearing a helmet or seatbelt at the time of the accident. The operator was transported to IU Arnett Hospital in Lafayette to be evaluated. The passenger was pronounced deceased on scene by the Carroll County coroner.
In addition to excessive speed, alcohol is believed to have been a contributing factor in the accident. The operator was arrested on preliminary charges of operating while intoxicated, operating while intoxicated causing death, operating an ORV at unreasonable speed, and operating an ORV under the influence of alcohol.
Names of all involved parties are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Initial charges will be reviewed by the Carroll County prosecutor.
Assisting agencies include Carroll County Sheriff Department, Flora Police Department, Cutler Fire Department, Carroll County EMS, Carroll County Emergency Dispatch, and the Carroll County Coroner.